A trio of city councillors want to break the rules governing funds set aside for park space to help a North End seniors home pay for a temporary gravel parking lot.
St. Mary The Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Millennium Villa on Burrows Avenue needs $4,400 to build a temporary gravel parking lot.
Area councillor Mike Pagtakhan said he tried to find the money for the group from a variety of different sources at city hall but was turned down each time.
Pagtakhan (Point Douglas) said he was able to convince councillors on the local community committee – Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan) and Ross Eadie (Mynarski) – to reject the administration’s advice and give the seniors home funds set aside exclusively for creating new park space and recreational facilities.
"They don’t have a lot of funds, so this is going to help them move it along a bit," Pagtakhan said. "Hopefully we’ll get the support to do it."
For Pagtakhan to free up the $4,400 the seniors home needs, he will need support from Mayor Sam Katz and other councillors on the executive policy committee, which will consider the issue Wednesday morning.
Pagtakhan knows he can count on one vote at EPC – his own – but he’ll have to convince a majority of the others to stray from the city’s rules in this instance.
An application from the seniors group says the $4,400 is needed to cover the variance and advertising fees required to advise their neighbours of plans for the parking lot.
An administrative report rejected the application, explaining that a gravel parking lot does not meet any of the council-approved criteria needed to take funds from the land dedication reserve fund.
The application says the parking lot is only a temporary situation and the land will one day be site of an expansion.
In the meantime, Pagtakhan said the residents at the seniors home need additional parking space.
Pagtakhan said he hopes he can convince the seniors group to include park space in its plans for a future expansion, adding he hopes that will be seen as a viable trade-off.
"Those options are still open," Pagtakhan said. "This is really a small token of appreciation, for lack of a better word, to help them get going."