Thompson City Council met earlier tonight for the first time in October.
Councillors Penny Byer and Dennis Foley sent regrets as they could not attend the meeting, though Foley joined via telephone. The majority of council, and administrative staff, were wearing their 2018 Manitoba Winter Games hoodies and shirts in support of the games.
As is per usual, the meeting was preceded by general iquires from the public. Three Thompsonites came forward with questions, the topics of which ranged from the bike lane on Selkirk Avenue to the pool debenture and the CSO's.
The meeting started off with a presentation from the 2018 Manitoba Winter games committee. Sandra Ross-Hitch and Murray Kissick, the co-chairs of the Host Society, gave the presentation. Ross-Hitch and Kissick said that even though things are progressing well, they still need volunteers. Ross-Hitch said the main issue is getting people to register online, which is a neccessity to volunteer. She added that they have far more volunteers than are currently officially registered, and it's now a question of getting them into the system.
The meeting also included a report from the recreation and community services committee, chaired by Councillor Dennis Foley. The report was presented by Councillor Blake Ellis as Foley was not physically in attendance.
Council received for information a news release in regards to the Association of Manitoba Municipalities Cities Caucus Meeting, which took place in Portage late last month. Mayor Dennis Fenske was in attendance at the meeting.
There were two widely-discussed issues on this weeks' agenda; a resolution to approve the transfer of outstanding utility accounts to taxes and the first reading of by-law 1956-2017 (debenture to go towards imporvements of the Norplex Pool).
In a recorded vote, Councillor Duncan Wong was the lone member voting aginst the resolution to approve the transfer of outstanding utility accounts to taxes, as he said it's unfair to people who don't own land believes that utility bills and taxes should be separate. Deputy Mayor Kathy Valentino responded to Wong's comments, saying that the practice is not uncommon, and was discussed at a meeting of the City's finance committee.
The first reading of by-law 1956-2017 which dealt with a debenture going towards imporvements of the Norplex Pool. The total cost of the debenture is $340,000, and will go towards multiple areas as outlined by multiple reports from engineers. jenny Krentz, the C.F.O. for the City, outlined in a memo (and again verbally to council) that the debenture was approved as a part of the 2017 budget. Councillor Duncan Wong asked questions of administration with regards to the upgrades, the main one at the start being whether or not the upgrades are a result of the fire which closed the pool for most of the summer. Wong also asked why the City would get a debenture for the work when there was money in reserves. Deputy Mayor Kathy Valentino once again stood in opposition of Wong, stating that she was worried that councillors don't understand how reserves can be used in their fourth year in office. Councillor Blake Ellis noted that the pool was as old as he is, and that it's time for repairs. The vote on the reading was recorded, as per request from Councillor Wong. Mayor Fenske, Deputy Mayor Valentino, Councillors Ellis, Kolada, Smook and Foley voted in favour while Councillors Matechuk and Wong voted against. The by-law will have a second and third readings at a later date.
The next regular meeting of City Council will take place on October 16th.