City to honour commitment?
Committee recommends $1.5-million partnership with Catholic schools

Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (Nov 18/98) - The city's community services committee is recommending that council allocate $1.487 million to enter into a partnership with the Catholic school board for a twin gymnasium project at Weledeh school.

But, the decision to remove the money from the Major Communities Facilities Reserve (containing an estimated $4.5 million) didn't come without much debate between the city and the board's superintendent Loretta Foley.

Foley was surprised when the committee initially recommended at Monday's meeting that the city delay any provision of funds until after the completion of the recreation facilities needs assessment.

Council had approved a motion in July to move ahead with the negotiations and the two parties have had several meetings since that time.

"I'm wondering how council can unapprove something it's already approved," she said.

"I find it really difficult to accept. For me, this is an ethical issue."

Max Hall, city administrator, didn't deny that the city had agreed to begin negotiations, but maintained the allocation of funds hadn't been ironed out.

"At any rate, there was no commitment, but there's no question the administration was directed to enter negotiations."

But Twin Pad Arena advocate Ter Hamer said the money should be saved for a new arena, desperately needed by the community.

"...the priority has to be decided and I think everyone knows the priority," he said.

"We were given the understanding in 1990 that all monies in that fund would be directed to the arena. If this happens, there will be nothing left."

Council will be voting on the issue at Monday's regular meeting at City Hall.