At the Monday, April 8 City Council meeting, Mayor Lee Pratt put forward a motion for council to reconsider their March 25 decision to allow KEYSA to build their indoor sports facility at Balment Park, citing “new information” that has come to light.
“Since that meeting on March 25 there has been new information come forward — and I’m not talking about the letters,” Pratt told local media following the meeting, referring to the 200-some letters his office has received in support of the BMX Club who are current tenants at Balment Park.
“But what’s happened is there’s new information that’s come forward that warrants us really looking at that decision and deciding what’s right,” Pratt continued.”
Citing Section 131 of the Community Charter, Pratt explained that the Mayor has the right to bring something forward for reconsideration, providing it is brought up within 30 days following the initial vote. Pratt said that Council will endeavour to analyze the information and make a new decision as soon as possible.
“We’re cognizant of the timelines and we want to make sure, with what’s happened, we do not want to drag it on. We have to address it and do what’s right.”
As to what that new information is, Pratt was unable to disclose anything to press, or to the user groups concerned.
“I shared it with Council this evening in a closed [meeting] because it is covered under Land and Legal so it qualifies for that,” Pratt said. “But staff is not aware of the information and neither is KEYSA or the BMX Club. So we have to do our own due diligence and investigation before we disclose it to anybody.”
Pratt said that the next step now will be for Council to meet with staff, and then after analyzing and absorbing the new information, and understanding the ramifications of it, they will likely make some kind of decision, before meeting with the user groups, giving them the opportunity to address it.
The decision on March 25 to approve Councillor Ron Popoff’s motion to provide the land at Balment to KEYSA, means that the BMX track would have to relocate after this season’s end. The Cranbrook Bike Skills Society expressed disappointment at Council’s decision, and around 200 letters were sent to the City from residents in support of the bike club.
“Well, I think the letters — I’ve looked at them, and it shows support for the BMX Club and it shows support the youth of the community,” Pratt said. “Because some of those letters, people have literally no involvement with the BMX or the soccer, but they are concerned with the youth in Cranbrook and what’s available for them, so those letters, a lot of them address that too.”
In June, KEYSA was offered land at Moir Park by the City, but they turned it down, hoping instead to secure the land at Balment, which they said is more suitable for the proposed stadium’s needs.