Taipei mayor announces strategy to deal with construction group

Taipei mayor announces strategy to deal with construction group
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je yesterday said Taipei City Government has come up with four different strategies to deal with local construction consortium Farglory Group after the company missed a key deadline for acquiring a new license for the construction of the Dome.

The city government said the consortium should have completed construction of the Dome by Dec. 28, 2014 as specified in its contract with the consortium. However, Farglory did not complete construction by this date, and instead applied for an extension. Their application was turned down by the Ko administration on Feb. 17 this year.

The government handed Farglory an NT$3-million fine for failing to finish construction by the date specified in the contract and tasked Farglory with modifying and repairing the Dome within three months. That deadline expired yesterday, June 15.

The city government's Taipei Dome Project Task Force convened yesterday to formulate a response strategy following Farglory's failure to complete the modifications and repair work by the date that the city government had set.

Strategies Kept Under Ko's Hat

Ko said yesterday that the Task Force proposed four strategies at its meeting yesterday to deal with Farglory. However, the mayor said that the strategies would not be released to the public yet. The mayor said he would consider when would be the appropriate time to make the strategies public, but said that it may be possible to reveal the strategies within the next two days.

Ko also responded to a statement released by Falglory on Sunday, in which the company announced they would bring lawsuits against the city and the mayor.

The mayor expressed his surprise at the threat of a lawsuit, as he had invited the consortium to the Taipei Dome Safety Symposium held June 13.

Ko said that the lawsuits would not help alleviate safety issues surrounding the Dome and criticised the consortium for "constantly shifting the focus" away from the the safety issues in a strategy to deflect bad publicity.

The mayor cited public statements issued by Farglory attacking Deputy Mayor Charles Lin as an example of the consortium's deflecting behaviour and said the consortium had provided opposition city councilors with information and photos in the hope of sparking a public outcry against Lin.

However, Farglory yesterday hit back, with Chairman Chao Teng-hsiun saying the consortium had done nothing wrong and that the Dome had been constructed in line with proper legal procedures.

Chao said the company would bring lawsuits against Ko and Taipei and that he would be meeting with legal advisors to decide Farglory's legal strategy.

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