Sponsors: City of Prince Rupert
Endorsed by the NCLGA Membership
WHEREAS declining enrollments continue to impact School Districts throughout our region and schools are being boarded up in efforts to have remaining operating schools meet capacity requirements as directed by the Provincial government;
AND WHEREAS our School Districts are experiencing increased financial pressures and money spent maintaining deteriorating school properties are monies taken out of education programming for students:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NCLGA and the UBCM request the Minister of Education to allow School Districts the option to sell derelict school properties with the proviso that any monies gained be spent in the local school district on education programming for students.
The UBCM membership referred a related resolution, 2009-A8, to the UBCM Executive for further study. Upon consideration, the UBCM Executive expressed support for the establishment of a joint UBCM-BCSTA-Ministry working group to address the issue of disposal of school properties. Work is currently underway on this issue.
As well in 2007 UBCM members endorsed resolution B55, which encouraged the Province “to reconsider its position with respect to the disposal of land or improvements at fair market value as it relates to such acquisition by a local government body – thus recognizing the support afforded by communities toward the development of their local schools through both donation and taxation – to allow communities to assume responsibility for such surplus properties at minimal or no cost for use as seniors’ facilities, low cost housing or other such public community enhancement purposes.”
UBCM members have also endorsed previous resolutions requesting that the Province “permit school boards to give adequate time and opportunity to local governments and other public bodies to acquire [school district] properties at less than fair market value for civic purposes” (2006-B135), and that “the Ministry of Education not require the sale or lease of school properties that could serve another community use” (2006-B170).