City Council narrowly approved a resolution brought forward by Mayor Provenzano to reserve Economic Development Funding for Algoma University and Sault College in a 4-3 vote during Monday evening’s meeting.
$100,000 will be earmarked for the post-secondary institutions each year for the next three years, supporting plans that are in alignment with with the city’s FutureSSM plan.
Provenzano and Councillors Gardi, Niro and Vezeau-Allen were in support of the resolution, whereas Councillors Bruni, Scott and Shoemaker were in opposition, expressing support to the post-secondary institutions in principle, but concerns about the process or procedure involved in setting the money aside, saying the institutions can apply for it if they develop ideas that help the city’s community plan move forward.
Absent from the meeting were Councillors Christian, Durfour and Hollingsworth.
Provenzano said the plan is a “modest and responsible” way to support Algoma U, Sault College and FutureSSM in a way that “poses no risk to the city.”
Council also approved of Councillor Shoemaker’s resolution to look at and revamp the City’s warming-shelter protocols after the recent ice storm that left many Saultites without power for up to 36 hours.
Chief CAO Malcolm White also spoke about the Water Tower Inn’s shelter set up on New Year’s Day.
“I would just like to let the community know that those persons who we could identify as being vulnerable to this situation were dealt with right away,” he explained.
“They didn’t need to wait for the opening of a warming shelter. The PUC advised the Red Cross, and the Red Cross were deployed on an individual basis. It was as the power outage extended into subsequent days that we decided it was right to open a warming centre so that people could come to either get warm or have access to running water.”
Coun. Shoemaker thanked city staff for recognizing the need for a shelter, and also asked that the current threshold of -40 celsius be reconsidered.
“I think that’s plenty cold,” he said.
“Minus 30 is plenty cold.”
“As a community, I think we need to lead to a certain degree in this effort. Whatever efforts you pursue, Mr. Shoemaker, you’ll have my support on that,” Coun. Gardi stated.
Municipal staff have already started de-briefings on the recent holiday events and a plan is in the works, said White.
“Any time when we have an event where we’re needing to deal with these matters, we do review things and we’re already reviewing and will bring a report further to council,” he explained.