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Freeze on surplus

Council takes aim at top priorities

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Aug 28/02) - Rankin Inlet hamlet council has decided to use its remaining operational surplus to meet its top priorities.

To that end, council is looking at the possibility of hiring a full-time project officer for the hamlet.

During its regular monthly meeting earlier this week, council asked for a job description to be prepared outlining the duties of a project officer before tabling a motion to begin the hiring process.

The move effectively puts a freeze on spending any more of its $285,000 operational surplus at this time, other than the $32,000 previously approved for the purchase of a search-and-rescue boat.

Hamlet senior administrative officer (SAO) Ron Roach says the reasoning behind hiring a project manager would be to have a full-time employee who can concentrate solely on projects council has identified as top priorities. He says the hamlet's priorities haven't changed since council identified them earlier this year.

"The top four priorities that would benefit from having a project officer are council's efforts to obtain the Nunavut Inuit Heritage Centre and a new correctional facility for Rankin, the road to Diane River and gaining full-project authority," says Roach. "A project officer would have the time to properly research every project and obtain the proper documentation pertaining to them."

Roach says having such research in place, and being able to financially contribute to projects, gives the community a better chance for success when councillors present their case to the Nunavut government. He says being able to contribute financially to a project is a big selling point with the territorial government.

"It doesn't make any sense to blow our surplus and then not be able to contribute financially to projects you're trying to secure. "It makes things a lot easier when you can contribute financially to a certain project." Roach says Coun. Louis Taparti has been meeting with the elder's drum-dance committee to help its members apply for society status.

"They're meeting to set up their bylaws and, once they're registered as a proper society, they can also help to get the momentum going towards Rankin securing the heritage centre. "This is another area where a project officer would be able to work with that society in putting together preliminary numbers towards the heritage centre."