St. John’s is hosting a community planning forum next month to complete its strategy to reduce homelessness.
Council approved a grant of $5,750 Monday night for the city’s community advisory committee on homelessness to hold the forum May 26-27.
“The forum, I believe, is vital, and the committee believes is vital to the future of the city’s homelessness partnering strategy,” said Coun. Bernard Davis, chairman of the city’s community services and housing committee.
Completing the five-year plan will allow the city to take advantage of $3.5 million of federal funding to combat homelessness.
The city funds to host the forum will come from the community grants budget.
Council defers request on proposed track and field facility
The city wants more information before it kicks in money for a proposed new track and field facility to be built at St. Paul’s School.
The school has asked for St. John’s to contribute one-third of the project’s $1-million cost, to a maximum of $350,000, but Davis said the ownership of the land where the facility would be built needs to be settled, as does the question of whether the city should invest in an athletics complex that would — unlike the planned St. Paul’s facility — meet the standard regulations required by the Canada Games, to be held in Newfoundland and Labrador, possibly in St. John’s, in 2021.
“I think it’s a great project, but it may not fit directly with what we’re trying to do from a recreational standpoint, because there’s higher priorities in different areas of the city,” he said.
Council voted to defer the request.
Councillor wants harsher penalties for vandals
Coun. Tom Hann criticized the sentence given to a man who pleaded guilty to vandalizing private property was given a conditional discharge.
David Legge was also given six months’ probation, matching the sentence given Joshua Ducey in January. Also in January, Shane Mills, a third person arrested for spray-painting private property, including mailboxes and a bridge, was given a suspended sentence and six months’ probation.
“I don’t want to question the wisdom of the courts, your worship, but I don’t think that’s enough,” said Hann.
“You catch them, they deface property, and it costs money. … I think there should be harsher penalties. If anything, they should be asked to pay for the cleanup of defacing city property and government property.”