At the regular Board meeting on Tuesday, November 15th, trustees sought further information on the rejection of a request for funding of a new school in Temiskaming Shores.
Trustees were advised by the Superintendent of Business and Finance that a call had come from the Ministry during the summer to enquire if the closure of Kerns Public School would be included in the capital funding request. In the creation of a 5 year Capital Plan, all schools within the Board were reviewed. It was determined that Kerns Public School would not be put under review. The capital request was subsequently rejected.
"I am concerned that an enquiry from the Ministry on the potential closure of an additional school almost sounds like a quid pro quo for funding," said Board Chair Doug Shearer.
A suggestion was also received from the Ministry that the Board consider an addition to the existing Secondary School to accomplish its needs. Analysis of this suggestion showed little would be achieved in savings.
The Board also reviewed past capital funding as a result of Ministry responses to media enquiries. A Ministry response advised that 70 million dollars in capital funding has been provided to the Board since 2004.
An internal review of past funding shows a total of 89.9 million dollars in funding has been received since 2004. However, 53.7 million dollars of that funding was for normal upkeep on buildings. That is funding annually received by all Boards in varying amounts, depending on their size.
A total of 36.2 million dollars in funding was actually received for new construction or expansion since 2004. The Board was advised that seven small projects totalling 3.1 million dollars were fully funded with the Board requiring top up funding for new schools in Timmins and Kirkland Lake.
At the time of local Board amalgamations, significant reserves were combined. Since the Board amalgamations, more than 24 million in Board reserve funds have been used for building upkeep, renovations and additions.
Board staff will be meeting with the Ministry Capital Analyst this week to determine what more the Board should be doing to achieve success in its submissions. Following this discussion, the Board will again review its Capital Plan.
To view the original media release:
Board Continues Discussion on Capital Funding - November 17, 2016.pdf