Ko, Farglory agree to revise Dome contract

PROACTIVE::Before the meeting, the Taipei City Government released its plans for unilateral changes to the design of a controversial underground evacuation tunnel

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jan 22, 2015 - Page 1

The Taipei City Government and the Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) last night agreed to renegotiate the Taipei Dome contract, with Farglory promising to complete construction by end of the year.

Taipei City Government spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) announced the agreement following a one-hour meeting between Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and representatives of the firm on the future of the project.

The Taipei Dome and Farglory’s contract had become a source of controversy in recent days as Ko and his administrative team began looking at several major projects either underway or in the proposal stage.

Prior to last night’s meeting, Ko had said the Dome contract would have to be revised to increase the penalties for failing to meet deadlines. He also said discrepancies between the initial contract terms during the bidding process and the firm’s final contract needed to be discussed.

“Farglory has already gone past the deadline for completing the project, in violation of the contract,” Ko said earlier yesterday, adding that the original contract’s penalty clauses “do not have any real impact,” because they only allow the city government to fine the firm a total of NT$3 million (US$95,300) for violations.

Over the weekend, Ko had called the penalty clauses “ridiculous.”

In addition, while the Control Yuan in 2009 ordered the city to revise 39 questionable articles in the contract for the project, the previous administration did nothing to address the revisions, Ko said before the meeting.

Taipei Dome Project executive secretary Hu Pei-lun (胡培倫) said that while previous negotiations between the city and the firm on revising the questionable articles had led to an initial consensus, the negotiations broke down after Farglory refused to agree to the city’s demands.

In related news, the Department of Rapid Transit Systems yesterday released its plans for unilateral changes to a controversial underground tunnel between the dome and National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.

Ko had previously called the design of tunnel — which was supposed to be used in case the Dome needed to be evacuated — “weird” for requiring pedestrians to pass through narrow passages lined with commercial stall space.

Department of Rapid Transit Systems Commissioner Chou Li-liang (周禮良) said the redesigned tunnel — with the commercial space removed — would meet evacuation needs, while cutting costs substantially and reducing the number of trees which would have to be transplanted.

He said the new tunnel could be constructed in time for the 2017 Universiade.

Farglory executives last week said that revising the tunnel design could prevent the Dome being available for the Games.

Additional reporting by staff writer

This story has been updated since it was originally published.