The final Greenwood council meeting before this weekend’s election saw almost two dozen people turn out. All the seats in the public gallery were filled, more chairs were brought into chambers and some residents were even standing in the hallway during the meeting.
Councillor Darla Ashton read a prepared statement following talk circulating in the city that the Greenwood Legacy Group (GLG) had benefited financially after they cancelled the Halloween bonfire due to the weather.
“I can tell you that this caused me much anguish last week,” Ashton said. She called on Mayor Kettle and Councillor Noll to account for statements they had made to the seniors that GLG had been reimbursed by the city for the food for the Halloween event. Ashton said that the cost of the hot dogs was sponsored by the GLG.
“As it is now, the mayor has acknowledged his misstatements and made several apologies to me, but to date I have heard nothing from Councillor Noll with regard to his misleading remarks to the seniors about the GLC.”
It was agreed that there had been a “miscommunication” on the part of council that the GLG was covering the cost.
Kettle said he would not want to slight any volunteers. “I can understand the fireworks being cancelled. But the bonfire should not have been cancelled.” He suggested there should be a policy for the future, “If we are going to cancel an event that has been going for a number of years there should be a policy.”
Councillor Lang put forward a motion that was passed that $400 be granted to the Greenwood Seniors for their Santa’s Helpers project.
Unanticipated cost overruns on the McArthur Centre kitchen renovation project that was started by the Greenwood Community Association has forced the group to ask for help in paying for the work. One of the main reasons cited for doing the project is to bring the facility into compliance with health regulations.
Councillor Colleen Lang said as originally envisioned the project was to replace appliances and install a dishwasher for a cost of $63,000. After the building inspector had reviewed the plans the cost had increased to $70,000.
Then the health inspector added more requirements such as resolution of cross-contamination issues, because presently dirty dishes are carried past the food preparation area.
“The choice was upgrading or shutting down the kitchen,” Lang said. As work proceeded on the heritage building, electrical and plumbing issues continued to add to the costs.
CAO Robin Dalziel said that today the project has a revised budget $115,000. The community association received a grant for $25,000, $8,600 in donations and put in $53,000 of their own toward the project.
Dalziel explained that, as landlord for the building, the city is liable for $20,000 in maintenance and repairs (electrical upgrades $9,000, insulation and structural work $5,000 and plumbing $6,000). He told council that these costs should be borne by the City of Greenwood and are eligible under the guidelines of the Gas Tax Fund.
After the city contributes its $20,000 portion as landlord a shortfall of $8,400 will remain.
Dalziel recommended that the city contribute an additional $7,500, for a total of $27,500 coming from the gas tax fund account. Council agreed to pay the maintenance costs and provide the $7,500 grant to the community association.
Dalziel reported on the ongoing Job Creation Project (JCP), which is seeing work done at the A-frame and at O’Hari Park. The project is currently $2,511 over budget, which the city can cover from their parks and facility maintenance budget.
Dalziel said the work being done on the A-frame included new roofing and replacing a beam that was badly damaged by carpenter ants. He said the $2,500 cost to the city for the JCP was a good deal since the roof alone would have cost more had the city had to hire a company to do the job.
Where to place a new information kiosk that is also part of the JCP generated a lot of debate. Dalziel said the original plan was to put it by the A-frame building, but because the lot is small he recommended placing it in the McArthur Centre parking lot instead.
Council turned his recommendation down and a site visit will be organized for council and staff to look at where the sign could go. During question period at the end of the meeting Jim Nathorst said he felt the kiosk should be at the McArthur Centre parking lot because there is already one at the museum in the same block as the A-frame.
Resident Leslie Smith suggested that Lions Park would be another good location.