2012-09-10 at 21:16
FILE -- the Centennial Botanical Conservatory.
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Thunder Bay residents missed an opportunity to have the Centennial Botanical Conservatory re-opened by Christmas.
Council in August approved recommendations to partially reopen the conservatory by installing a safety net to protect against hazards from above. Last February reports of falling glass forced the closure of the Centennial Botanical Conservatory, though council recently voted to speed up the reopening process and install the $76,000 net as soon as possible.
But instead, at Monday night’s meeting, council overturned a decision that could have had the conservatory open as soon as December instead of Jan. 1, 2013. The vote ended in a tie and thus was lost, with Northwood Coun. Mark Bentz absent from the vote.
The work order will have to wait until Sept. 24 when administration is expected to come forward with a report on the conservatory.
Red River Coun. Brian McKinnon wanted to have a recorded vote on the conservatory because he said he has issues spending that amount of money on a facility that’s been neglected for 45 years.
“I think we can do something better with that money,” McKinnon said. “I fully support a conservatory. There are different ways to make it safer or maybe put the money forward for a new conservatory. That’s what I would like to see. I know three or four other councillors I have spoken with are thinking the same way.”
He said he hoped the report coming to council will give recommendations to construct a new conservatory as well as what the cost will be.
He added that the motion probably would have passed had Bentz been at council.
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