By Kirk Starratt
Kings County council won’t decide the fate of surplus funds from the Western Kings Arena project until March.
Engineering and Public Works manager Scott Quinn reported to council Feb. 11 that there is a $22,453.59 surplus from the county’s contribution of $150,000 to the first phase of the project.
Following a request from the Western Kings Rink Association, staff recommended that the surplus funds be placed in reserve and added to the municipality’s contribution to the second phase of work. This would increase the county’s phase two commitment from $156,250 to $178,703.59. Quinn pointed out the county’s overall funding commitment wouldn’t change.
Warden Diana Brothers said she met with rink association president Wayne Fowler last week and he wanted a letter of intent for phase two funding from the county to help leverage provincial funding.
“The (funding) application has gone in, but the province hasn’t dealt with it at this point,” Brothers said.
Coun. Kim MacQuarrie said she applauds the organization for coming in under budget and doing a great job, but asked how the project has changed to require the surplus funds from the first phase to be added to the second.
Quinn said the project hasn’t changed, but the additional funds would ease the financial burden on the rink association. There’s been no indication the province’s position on funding the project has changed, he added.
The cost estimate for the second phase has gone up a bit from the original estimate, but the project hasn’t gone to tender. The original total combined estimate for the cost of the project was $500,000
Coun. Bob Best said the county has to know what the cost of the contract awarded for the second phase is before council makes a decision about the surplus funds.
Council decided to revisit the matter March 5.
There was some discussion on whether or not Brothers and area Coun. Wayne Atwater serve as voting members on the Western Kings Rink Association board. Both said they are not official board members but have attended meetings as local councillors. Staff checked the Registry of Joint Stocks website and determined Brothers and Atwater are not voting members.
“It’s up to the individual councillor to declare a conflict,” Brothers said. “I have more-less been an advisor to the board.”
Atwater said he and Brothers are not board members. He said the rink association meetings are transparent and open to the public.
“We weren’t there as board members,” Atwater said. “We were there to help them through the process.
See more on the Western Kings Arena fundraising efforts HERE.