Bids to reverse previous council decisions on paving cost overrun, pet bylaw amendment unsuccessful

A pair of motions to reverse previous decisions were defeated at council’s Nov. 25 meeting.

The first motion was to rescind a resolution approving the payment of a $44,928.01 budget overrun to Nelson River Construction for 2019 road and multi-use path paving that was approved at the Oct. 28 meeting. The cost was covered using money from the federal gas tax fund.

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Coun. Duncan Wong, who was the lone vote opposed to the Oct. 28 resolution, said the decision seemed to be a case of “the tail wagging the dog” and that he had never sen the topic addressed prior to council being presented the invoice.

The minutes of the Oct. 8 public works committee meeting say that, “There are some overages anticipated on multi-use path project and the road project as we are finalizing the quantities.”

Coun. Jeff Fountain said it was important to get the process for budget overruns worked out before taking on bigger projects like a new pool.

“We’re going to be having some much bigger projects with much bigger expenses,” Fountain said.

Coun. Kathy Valentino said the mayor and councillors also received updates about the project during weekly Monday morning mayor’s meetings.

Coun. Judy Kolada said substantial cost overruns should result in a special meeting of council or at least of the committee under whose jurisdiction the project falls.

Wong and Fountain were the only councillors who voted to reverse the previous resolution.

The second decision revisited by council was the defeat of a proposed amendment to the pet ownership bylaw to allow more pets with a special permit that failed to pass second reading.

“This is a thing that I can’t let go of easily,” said Fountain, who spearheaded the defeated amendment and believes that not allowing it to proceed was a mistake. He also disputed the workload of the animal control officer being a valid reason for not moving forward. “It’s clear, in my opinion only, that he is not as busy as he should be."

Ultimately, only one councillor who had not voted in support of second reading changed their vote to support Fountain's motion. 

“I felt bad that I didn’t go with my gut feeling the first time,” said Coun. Brian Lundmark. 

Kolada, who was not present at the Oct. 28 meeting when the amendment was defeated at second reading , also supported Fountain’s motion to reverse that decision, but Mayor Colleen Smook and the four other councillors stood by their previous votes.

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