"I don't support it at this time. And, considering the financial situation, it's incumbent upon council to do the right thing."
This from Councillor Mark King, who spoke at length during Tuesday's virtual regular meeting of North Bay City Council about an agenda item that included a staff recommendation to approve $570,000 to renovate the customer service centre, tiling, and remove asbestos from the lobby of City Hall.
See original story: Expanded customer service at City Hall comes at a cost
Coun. Chris Mayne, chair of council's infrastructure and operations committee indicated, with the financial uncertainty borne by the COVID-19 pandemic, the municipality could be looking for projects to defer or cancel.
Mayne clarified he'd prefer to bring such a project "forward as part of a balanced budget, rather than through reserves"
COVID-19 and the associated health and safety protocols also figured into the discussion, with the reality being the customer service centre may have to be reorganized in a different, safer configuration — but what that might look like has not been determined. Funding expected to be available for accessibility projects might also provide some financial relief.
Mayne also observed the unmatched tiles in the lobby at City Hall were in "perfect condition other than the colour."
King stated the asbestos was not a danger as long as it was not disturbed and could be removed at a later date.
Councillors Bain, King, Mayne, Mendicino, Robertson, Tignanelli, and Tanya Vrebosch voted to quash the project.