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Posted: January 14, 2016

As to Mayor Pratt’s reflections

Letter to the Editor

Recently an article appeared in the local newspaper where City of Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt reviewed the actions of the city council over the past year. It contained several statements that are inaccurate.

Mention was made of the cancellation of a $500,000 loan to the Cranbrook and District Arts Council (CDAC). This statement is false. Never has the city offered a loan to the CDAC. Never has the CDAC sought such a loan from the city. The $500,000 was a line item for a future budget in case the city wanted to up-grade one of its own buildings, namely the Fire Hall. The impression was left that there would be a saving to the taxpayer. However, not one cent was saved by the removal of this item, because the money was never borrowed.

In fact, the arts council had made an agreement with the city to seek funding for the renovations to the building. Outside money is available to non-profit organizations from groups such as Columbia Basin Trust for just such purposes. The CDAC had already raised in excess of $70,000 for this purpose, but the city council backed out of the agreement. Consequently, that money has to be returned rather than being spent on a major refit of the building at no cost to the taxpayer.

The mayor is an honourable man and, I’m sure, would not deliberately mislead the public. If, for some reason, the mayor thinks that his statements are true, then I have a real concern. It is alarming to think that councilors are making far-reaching decisions based on such total misinformation.

Bill McColl,

Cranbrook


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