Saturday, August 31, 2013

The $50,000 issue that just will not go away, is it even legal?

I received the following comments from one of my readers who is questioning if the $50,000 taken out of land reserves to pay the Vachon group so that "they" own the rights to the Best Western name is even legal under the MGA.
If it is legal does this open up the possibility that anybody trying to start a business in the Pass could approach council for initial funding? If council was in agreement could that funding then be provided from municipal reserves?

Unapproved  Council Minutes state Best Western/ Vachon  funds came from a Municipal Land Reserve Account - see their website or image at bottom of this note.

Section 671 (2) of the MGA 671 states municipal  reserves can only be used for specific items, not hotels or economic development  - see excerpt.

MGA Section 671 (4) states municipal reserve monies must be separately accounted for -- see excerpt.

With the following information from the MGA

Division 9
Use and Disposal of Reserve Land
Use of reserve land, money
671(1)  Subject to section 676(1), environmental reserve must be left in its natural state or be used as a public park.
(2)  Municipal reserve, school reserve or municipal and school reserve may be used by a municipality or school board or by them jointly only for any or all of the following purposes:
                                 (a)    a public park;
                                 (b)    a public recreation area;
                                 (c)    school board purposes;
                                 (d)    to separate areas of land that are used for different purposes.
(2.1)  Community services reserve may be used by a municipality for any or all of the following purposes:
                                 (a)    a public library;
                                 (b)    a police station, a fire station or an ambulance services facility, or a combination of them;
                                 (c)    a non‑profit day care facility;
                                 (d)    a non‑profit senior citizens facility;
                                 (e)    a non‑profit special needs facility;
                                 (f)    a municipal facility providing service directly to the public;
                                 (g)    affordable housing.
(3)  Despite that land is designated as municipal reserve, school reserve or municipal and school reserve, the municipality and one or more school boards may enter into any agreement they consider necessary with respect to a use referred to in subsection (2) or for any matter related to the use.
(4)  Money provided in place of municipal reserve, school reserve or municipal and school reserve and the interest earned on that money
                                 (a)    must be accounted for separately, and
                                 (b)    may be used only for any or all of the purposes referred to in subsection (2).


Anonymous said...


Do not forget to encourage your readers to check out the Best Western bylaws

There is no where in there I can even find a provision for two years. It appears to be either 1 or four years.

Anonymous said...

The idea behind the legislation seems to be to keep municipalities from selling public land and squandering the proceeds - they have to keep it in a separate fund and use it only to buy more public land or facilities.

Do you know where the funds in the CNP Land Reserve came from (and how much is in it)?

Anonymous said...

This $50,000 is just another example of the fiscal irresponsibility we have witnessed in the last three years. Imagine the damage these people can do if they were to get in for another four years. This community simply can not afford this.