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REPORTING · 18th August 2011
Walter McFarlane
The Mount Elizabeth Tennis Courts were brought up at the Kitimat City Council on Monday, August 15th. On April 4th, Council made a motion to grant funding to the project in the amount of $36,500.

In a letter to Council on the 15th, Madeleine Robinson explained it would cost $58,071 + HST for the paving of the courts. The total cost of the project is now estimated at $122,435.29.

However, The District of Kitimat has a policy in which all the money has to be in place before they release the grant money. A memo to Council explained the PAC had only raised enough funding to complete phase one, the draining, sealing, equipment purchase and labour which was completed earlier this summer.

Robinson requested the release of the grant in her letter to Council as the funding for the paving is secure and there is a limited window of weather to do the necessary work at the tennis courts.

Councillor Rob Goffinet made a motion for the Council to make available the full amount of the grant. “I know the report lays out the policy is implemented totally would prefer that the entire amount of the sports court [renovation] project be raised before we disperse any of our money. We have got $36,500 set aside in trust. It is not extra money. We have budgeted it. This motion merely advocates that we make this amount available in the summer of 2011,” said Goffinet.

He explained if phase 2 was implemented this year, the cost would probably be lower on pavement then if they stalled the project until 2012. This would save money and would enable the court to be up and running by the school and the community in the fall.

“As anyone knows, schools in Kitimat are going through a lot of stressful times. All of the elementary schools in the upper part of town are being concentrated at Nechako. Next year, even components from all the elementary schools, the senior children, grade 7, will be put into Mount Elizabeth and renovations inside are taking place inside the school this year and next and I believe the outdoor sports court that we are going to disperse money for anyway, if we do go now and make our grant available to the Mount Elizabeth PAC, not only will the inside of the school be renovated but the outside of the sports court will as well,” said Goffinet.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan wanted to know if there would be left over paving material from paving the roads within town to pave the Court. District Engineer Tim Gleig replied the asphalt was coming from terrace and there would not likely be a surplus from the District contract.

Head of Leisure Services, Martin Gould said the price came from Kentron.

Councillor Gerd Gottschling wanted to know if there were any tennis Courts which were looked after by the District. Gould replied there were 4 tennis courts, one at Nechako and three at Riverlodge.

Gottschling also asked if there were funds available through the School District to finish the courts. “I think it is a real concern for me to make sure that the project will be completed, not that we just have the paving done and then there is no other funds and we will be stuck with a beautiful paved area and not a complete project,” said Gottschling.

Gould replied it was his understanding the only item which would not be completed this year was the fencing. He understood they already had the equipment purchased or were going to purchase the equipment.

Gottschling rephrased his question. He wanted to know if there was a significant amount of money to complete the project and why they needed to put the money forward.

“They do not have enough money put forward to complete the whole project but they do have a window of opportunity to do paving. They require the 36000 from the District of Kitimat to complete the paving with the purchase of the equipment that they need to get the project up and running,” said Gould.

Gottschling asked one final question: if they would be able to utilize the courts if the paving is done. Gould replied they would be able to use the courts, it just will not have new fencing.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff stated this was a multi use facility for students and the community to use. The funds would allow the project to go ahead in September rather then having to wait another year. They might be short for the fencing but they have other requests out.

Councillor Randy Halyk said he was concerned with the project. Money was asked for within a timeline and now it seemed Council was breaking their own rules to speed up the needs of a special interest group.

Goffinet said he took the concerns seriously because their policy allowed them to slow down and look at things. He went over the points which have already been made including the school board taking care of the maintenance of the sports courts which was made at a prior Council Meeting. He hoped the PAC would be successful in their grants for the fence to enclose the courts.

The motion was called and carried.
The Fencing shown here is damaged and is to be replaced at a later date
The Fencing shown here is damaged and is to be replaced at a later date