The District of Port Edward will have to wait a little while longer to see if they can borrow $2-million to build a new school connected to the community centre and municipal hall.
The delay comes as a result of a misunderstanding about the counter petition process, which would see the bylaw defeated and a referendum needed if 10 per cent of residents 18 or over sign a petition opposing borrowing the money.
“It was my understanding that we could, after council had given the bylaw three readings, proceed with the newspaper ads and have the petition available for the public to sign if they wished while we were waiting for the Inspector of Municipalities to give us the initial okay for the bylaw. We were notified by ministry staff that this is not the case. We must wait for the inspector to give us the okay before we can advertise and make the petition available to the public,” wrote corporate administrator Ron Bedard in a report to council, noting that this will put final approval of the borrowing well past the initial February 22 date.
“This means that the closing of the petition will be approximately March 21, 2011. If we do not get over 40 signatures on the petition, then council could give the bylaw approval and final reading at the regular meeting scheduled for March 22.”
Council had hoped to present the results of the counter-petition process to the Prince Rupert School District at the regular March 8 board meeting, but will now seek a special meeting of the board later in March to discuss how to proceed with the school board later that month.