Summerside buys land for fu­ture Ro­tary Re­gional Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­tre

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY NANCY MACPHEE

The City of Summerside has pur­chased the build­ing and land that will be the fu­ture home of the Ro­tary Re­gional Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­tre.

The city fronted the $300,000 nec­es­sary to pur­chase the prop­erty, si­t­u­ated at 57 Cen­tral St., a move that Summerside Mayor Bill Martin ex­plained was nec­es­sary in or­der for the Ro­tary Club of Summerside to se­cure al­most $800,000 in fed­eral fund­ing.

“You could re­fer to us as bridge fi­nanciers,” said Martin. “At some point in time the $300,000 is ei­ther go­ing to be re­paid or the city will be­come a part­ner along with the province.”

The de­ci­sion was made at a spe­cial in-cam­era coun­cil meet­ing on July 23, days be­fore Eg­mont MP Gail Shea an­nounced $791,498 in fed­eral fund­ing for the pro­ject.

It was a press­ing de­ci­sion, said the mayor, who ex­plained the Ro­tary Club had to move fast to se­cure the fund­ing while the of­fer from the feds was still on the ta­ble.

“It had to be done by Fri­day of this week.”

The ex­pec­ta­tion is that the Ro­tary Club, which hopes to se­cure pro­vin­cial fund­ing, will re­pay the money, which the mayor said came from an un­used re­serve fund from 2014.

When asked why the ex­pen­di­ture was ap­proved be­hind closed doors, Martin ex­plained that, cur­rently, le­gal trans­ac­tions and land trans­ac­tions, as stated in the province’s Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Act, must be dis­cussed in com­mit­tee of the whole.

“That is al­ways a tough call,” added the mayor.

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