Charlottetown council balks at selling land to province for new Sherwood school
Charlottetown city council has decided to hold off on selling a piece of land needed by the province to build a new Sherwood Elementary School.
Council voted 7-2 at its monthly meeting on Monday to defer the sale of .89 acres of property located behind Cody Banks Arena at a price of $158,000.
Councillors Mike Duffy and Kevin Ramsay opposed, deferring the matter.
Mayor Philip Brown said Parker Grimmer, the director of the Public Schools Branch, and the province’s Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy recently made a presentation to council about the need to build a new school.
“If they don’t have this space they can’t build a new school,’’ Brown said.Sherwood Elementary School and Cody Banks Arena are seen on these Google maps images.
The motion on the floor would have given the province first right of refusal if the city wanted to sell Cody Banks Arena down the road.
Coun. Mitchell Tweel expressed concern with selling the piece of land to the province before the city has had a chance to determine the future of the arena.
“By approving this, does that preclude a new arena from being built in Sherwood?’’ Tweel asked. “Before we agree to sell this property we need to do our due diligence and decide what we’re doing with the property. We’re in the rink business.’’
Tweel added that Cody Banks has another decade of life left in it with some work.
Giving the province first right of refusal on the arena concerns Coun. Bob Doiron.
“I thank council tonight for saying this is going too quick,’’ said Doiron, who represents the area. “Let’s sit down and talk about it. Let’s get our ducks in a row. We want that rink in Sherwood. It’s been part of my life since 1972. I have grandchildren I want to take there.’’
Doiron said council agreed a number of months ago to sell a piece of land to the province for the school project. The land in question was to get appraised and the number to come back to council.
Doiron agreed with Tweel that council needs to gather more information on future plans for the community arenas in Charlottetown, namely Cody Banks, Simmons and Eastlink Centre.
Brown said the province doesn’t have a lot of time to wait, explaining that contractors are busy this construction season.
“The window is getting smaller and smaller,’’ the mayor said. “The (school’s) parents are keen to get going and the province wants to move forward.’’
Tweel added council shouldn’t be pressured into a decision by the province.