Cornwall ON – City Council can be like very very bad opera. There was a mood of Weirdness Monday night at Cornwall Ontario city council wrangled with the Gymnasium issue again.
Councilor Bernadette Clement; a lawyer by profession, brought back from the dead and essentially overturned a vote by council to not go ahead with a gymnasium project after costs mounted far past the initial cost projection.
Siting Robert’s Rules of Order while vociferously opposed by Glen Grant; Denis Thibault rose from the shadows and cast a wrench into the debate. He suggested that a better deal could be done if conversations he’d had about the Curling Club taking over the project would save the city some loot!
Much debate, clenching of teeth, and rendering of garments later an amendment to explore the Curling Club option was added and Ms Clement was successful in getting council to vote to reopen the gym question.
Now some very interesting points were made during the debate. One is the question of whether Cornwall truly needs the gym. Yes the Province and Feds are kicking in monies each, but with the costs mounting the city’s share would most likely mean a $200K per year investment for up to 25 years.
With most of the interest from city investments spoken for because of the arena, and other projects on the horizon a few of the councilors suggested that this perhaps just wasn’t feasible.
Listening to the debate it struck me what the city really needs; even though there’s a time crunch, is a proper assessment of gym space available and what the demand is. I have a hunch; especially if gym space were available from some of the closed or to be closed schools in the area that we could somehow survive without another gym and the cost of maintaining it.
The Curling Club suggestion is intriguing but there are questions of timing and feasibility; and also if this concept would be acceptable to the Federal and Provincial funding.
What do you think Cornwall? Should Cornwall fund this facility? You can post your comments below.
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