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Sub-committee motion fails on the floor while Windsor arena discussions continue

<p lang="en-US">The newly sworn in Windsor town council pose for a photo following the ceremony on Oct. 25, 2016. Pictured are, from left, Laurie Murley, John Bregante, Mayor Anna Allen, Shelley Bibby, and Jim Ivey.</p>
Windsor Town Council - File

West Hants votes down sub-committee idea

WINDSOR, N.S. — During a previous joint council session between Windsor and West Hants, a motion was passed to have both councils consider establishing a sub-committee to tackle the hockey heritage arena file.

That motion died on the floor at the Windsor committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 9, with no councillors seconding the motion, and it and was voted down by West Hants council, with a 5-5 tie, that same night.

Deputy Mayor Laurie Murley, who chaired the Windsor meeting, said she was disappointed by the outcome.

“I can’t speak for West Hants, but I think the reason this motion failed tonight was that some information had escaped,” Murley said, later elaborating that it was because the West Hants vote on the sub-committee became known via a town staff member.

“The discussion has to be had. I’ve just found that the more people you add to it, everybody feels that they have to have their time to talk,” she said.

“It’s important for us to represent our residents, but I have a lot of faith in our fellow councillors,” she continued.

“But I have to respect the decisions our councils have made tonight,” she added.

Murley said she still has hope that the hockey heritage project will go ahead, despite the looming April deadline to apply for federal funding from a specific program. (weblink - http://www.hantsjournal.ca/news/local/april-deadline-looming-windsor-west-hants-begin-first-steps-towards-hockey-heritage-arena-171559/).

“I think there’s been some great discussions that have come forward from this and I think it’s only natural that some people will have different ideas about the way things should go forward,” she said. “One thing is clear, both councils want the best for their residents.”

Coun. Jim Ivey said he didn’t second the motion because he thinks it’s time for both councils to come to a decision with the information they have.

“I think there’s a fair bit of uncertainly surrounding what’s going on with the project and this is one path forward, but I just wasn’t comfortable supporting the motion that was put in front of us,” Ivey said following the meeting.

“From having the previous discussion, I know there was desire to have more folks than not in that debate. As I looked at where we were at with time and what we have in front of us in terms of information, I was more inclined to move to make a decision one way or another.”

Coun. Shelley Bibby, who brought the motion forward from joint council, said she doesn’t think the two councils are ready to come to a decision on how they want the proposed hockey heritage arena to move forward.

“To me, moving that terms of reference and sub-committee forward would have at least been some movement forward, but now it appears it’s stalled completely,” Bibby said.

Next steps

Following the meeting it was agreed that Windsor Mayor Anna Allen, who had left the committee meeting due to an illness, should call West Hants Warden Abraham Zebian to figure out the next steps.

Ivey said he’d like to see the two councils meet again in the coming weeks to “hammer out a decision, one way or the other.”

Bibby said there are still too many questions remaining from the recent feasibility study

Ivey said he thinks the feasibility study is pretty clear and would like to have an open debate about its merits.

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