By Cole Parkinson
Progress on a new theatre facility in the Municipal District of Taber is still slow-moving.
After another delegation in late January from Star Theatre group, M.D. councillors once again discussed the requested debenture during their regular meeting on Feb. 11.
While a current building has been identified by the group as the ideal site, some on council still didn’t see it as being the best suited for a theatre facility.
“Do you know if they have looked into building new?” asked Coun. Brian Brewin. “My issue is that this is an old building. With the dollar value I’m seeing, I think you’d be able to build something.”
Administration didn’t necessarily disagree with those statements but they did point out the decision at hand was largely if council wanted to provide a debenture or not.
“From a purely administrative perspective, there’s absolutely no disagreement there. Administration is trying to respect their role. Up to this point, we really haven’t been involved in their system so we are just providing information for their request,” said CAO Arlos Crofts. “From an operation perspective, there are some concerns in regard to seeing it in the right locale in terms of appropriate servicing. Also in terms of parking and vehicle traffic.”
While the idea had been generally well-received by council, many wanted more information before committing to a debenture for the project.
“I’d like more information. I think we need to discuss what other options are. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea,” continued Brewin.
With reservations around the location and the building in which the group wants to establish the theatre facility, council asked if administration could discuss further alternatives.
Administration was reserved in jumping in too far with the group.
“Administration can do that. I will express some hesitancy with regard to injecting ourselves into a group and their existing mission. Sometimes when you inject yourselves it’s well-received and sometimes it is not. Just want to be careful. Some of these questions were asked in regard to alternative locations and the responses we did receive last time were there was none,” stated Crofts.
“The request was whether or not we were interested in providing a debenture,” added Coun. Tamara Miyanaga. “In some ways, I feel that we are, or in my mind, I am debating the location and purpose of the theatre where as that shouldn’t really be the debate. It should be whether we engage in a debenture because that was the ask.”
A motion to table the discussion was carried unanimously.