Court rules Town of Ponoka's Learning Centre Lease Bylaw is valid

By rdnewsNOW staff
February 27, 2018 - 9:50am

WETASKIWIN- A Court of Queen's Bench judge has ruled in favor of the Town of Ponoka and members of Town Council.

They were named in an application regarding the Community Learning Centre Lease Bylaw and the Community Learning Centre lease agreement signed by the Town in 2017.

The judge ruled the Town has not exceeded its debt limit in the lease agreement signed by the Town for up to 28,000 square feet of space in the Community Learning Centre building.

The centre is being built on the old hospital site at the north end of 50 Street in Ponoka.

Justice K.P. Feehan stated the Town and Council were ‘wholly successful’ on the issues put before him in court last week, including the validity of the bylaw, which the court confirmed to be a valid borrowing bylaw.

Ponoka resident Greg Nelson had challenged the validity of the borrowing bylaw.

The bylaw authorized the Town to enter into the Community Learning Centre lease agreement.

The application by Mr. Nelson also asserted that the Town had also exceeded its allowable debt limit under the Municipal Government Act (MGA) when it passed the borrowing bylaw and entered the lease agreement.

Through the application, Mr. Nelson asked the court to declare that the Council members who voted in favour of the borrowing bylaw be held liable under the MGA for the amount of the debt.

While Justice Feehan confirmed that the borrowing bylaw is valid and the Town is within its debt limit, he did note that the bylaw has inadequacies and suggested the Town address those issues.

Ponoka Chief Administrative Officer Albert Flootman says the Town plans to re-examine the bylaw based on the judge’s comments.

Costs were not awarded to either party by the judge.

For more details about the Community Learning Centre project and the Community Learning Centre Lease Bylaw and lease agreement, visit the Town website at www.ponoka.ca

(Gary McKinnon)

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