Councillors will meet in a special General Issues Committee meeting on September 13 to continue their discussion on the Pan Am Velodrome proposal.
By Ryan McGreal
Published August 30, 2011
According to an email from the City Clerk, it is confirmed that Members of Council will meet again in a special General Issues Committee (GIC, formerly committee of the whole) on September 13, 9:30 AM to continue yesterday's discussion on the Pan Am Velodrome proposal.
General Issues Committee (Special)
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
9:30 a.m. to ?????
PURPOSE: Continuation of discussions re: Pan Am Velodrome
Last Friday, members of Council pushed back against a request to convene a full Council meeting on the same day as yesterday's GIC meeting to ratify the decision of the committee. Toronto 2015 had given Hamilton a deadline of August 30 to present its Velodrome proposal, after extending the deadline from July 28.
Councillors Lloyd Ferguson and Brad Clark objected that this did not provide enough time for Councillors to give this important proposal due consideration.
In response, Toronto 2015 extended the deadline to September 15, allowing Councillors more time before having to make a final decision. According to Ian Troop, CEO of TO2015, September 15 is a real deadline, "the first moment where we've established a date we need to hit".
The staff report on the velodrome proposal recommends that the City increase its capital contribution from $5 million to $10 million, and would be responsible for an additional $8 to $12.5 million if alternate sources of funding cannot be found.
Under the proposal, Mohawk College would provide a site at its Fennell Campus and would contribute $2 million toward the Velodrome and a parking facility that would be shared with an adjacent $15 million sports facility for the exclusive use of Mohawk students.
Between now and September 13, city staff and TO2015 will attempt to provide Council with more details on how to close the capital funding gap, as well as providing a more complete picture of what the operating costs and revenues will be.
Several Councillors expressed surprise and frustration at yesterday's meeting that the staff report on the Velodrome, which was posted to the City website the on Friday afternoon, was the first report they have received this year.
A Velodrome Advisory Committee comprising four councillors, members of staff, stakeholder representatives and community volunteers met five times between October 2010 and May 2011 to discuss the velodrome plan. The Velodrome committee did not post agendas or publish minutes for its meetings, but RTH obtained agendas and meeting notes from two of the meetings - on April 20 and May 26.
According to Councillor Russ Powers, who is one of Council members on the advisory committee (with Brian McHattie, Terry Whitehead and Rob Pasuta), this is because an advisory committee reports to staff, not to the the GIC or Council.
The City's Procedural By-Law, Section 6.2 (e), states:
all minutes and reports [from an advisory committee] shall be submitted to the Standing Committee to which the Advisory Committee or Task Force reports
The October 2010 Terms of Reference for the Hamilton Velodrome Advisory Committee states:
The Hamilton Velodrome Advisory Committee will report through the Manager of Pan Am Initiatives, City of Hamilton.
According to the City Clerk, "The General Issues Committee has pretty much had carriage of the Pan Am matter, so any follow up would likely be forwarded to that committee."
There are no rules as to the frequency at which a committee should submit reports.
Until Monday, the West Harbour was still officially the preferred location of the Velodrome. According to Troop, the City and TO2015 considered a number of possible sites and Mohawk came up as a serious site consideration in late spring.
On July 26, a Spectator article quoted Trish Chant-Sehl, at that time the City's manager of Pan Am Initiatives, saying, "Our efforts rights now are focused on Mohawk."
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