The Boundary Museum Society (BMS) will ask city council for funds withheld from the society’s previous board, according to interim Vice President, Christopher Stevenson.
Council denied BMS’s request last December for the remainder of the society’s annual fee for service in the amount of roughly $23,000.
Council came to that resolution after a delegation by BMS’s then board of directors offered no financials to justify their ask. The board also hadn’t held an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in two years, drawing concerns from some councillors about the board’s responsibilities to its membership and to the broader community.
Council unanimously voted Feb. 14 to fund BMS’s full $80,000 fee for service in the city’s upcoming 2022 budget, but a resolution motioned by Coun. Christine Thompson put last year’s $23,000 back in the city’s coffers.
Thompson said at chambers that BMS hadn’t asked for that money during interim treasurer April Lebedoff’s earlier delegation to Grand Forks’ committee of the whole (COTW). Thompson further said BMS had a $40,000 surplus on its books.
But Lebedoff said Thursday, Feb. 24 that wasn’t true. The $40,000 in question “are spoken for,” she told The Gazette.
Stevenson meanwhile hopes to explain to council at March 7’s COTW that BMS needs the $23,000 rump.
“We’re not going to go before council so that we can lay blame on anyone. We’re going lay it out on the table for them and clear up any misunderstandings there may be,” he said.
Stevenson explained that the interim board wasn’t aware they had to specifically ask for last year’s funds. Interim directors instead thought the money would come with the funds council approved for the year ahead.
Mayor Brian Taylor, who joined Coun. Zak Eburne Stoodley in voting against Thompson’s motion, said he would vote to give last year’s funds to BMS after the society’s second delegation.
Thompson said she would consider voting in favour, depending on how BMS planned to spend the $23,000.
It’s not clear at this point when or how council would reverse its Feb. 14 resolution, though it has options.
The Community Charter authorizes B.C. mayors to bring back council resolutions for reconsideration at chambers, which Taylor said he might do in this instance. Alternatively, council could tack the $23,000 onto BMS’s fee for service in the upcoming 2022 through a separate resolution.
As to the timing, Chief Administrative Officer Duncan Redfearn said city hall has received BMS’s application to make their delegation. Staff will arrive at the scheduling details Wednesday, March 2, when they finalize council’s March 7 agenda for the following Monday.
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