School District 73 wants to hear what you think about transferring ownership of Dutch Lake School to District of Clearwater.
“The board needs input from the people to know if there is interest in the community,” said John Harwood, speaking in his role of school trustee for the upper North Thompson. “It will be a chance to ask pertinent questions of the school board.”
With that in mind the school board has decided to switch locations for its early March meeting from previously scheduled Barriere to Clearwater Secondary School. A meeting this fall, which was to have been held at CSS, will instead be held in Barriere.
“I expect some people will bring up what will happen if the population rebounds,” Harwood said. “We held about 40 meetings on configuration and everyone says the same thing. The evidence doesn’t prove that. It might happen here but the odds against it are quite strong.”
Harwood pointed out that the process of disposing of a school by a school district can take a long time and is not often done.
Provincial policy requires public consultation, such as the meeting planned for next March, but that is just a preliminary step.
The local school trustee also pointed out that transferring a facility from one taxpayer-supported organization to another taxpayer-supported organization is different from transferring it to the private sector.
Some of those questioning the transfer need to keep that difference in mind, he said. Concerns that the municipality might in turn sell the building to a private buyer could easily be met by a clause in the sales contract, he felt.
Submissions in writing
The school board meeting to get input on the proposed transfer of Dutch Lake School to District of Clearwater will be held Monday, March 7 at Clearwater Secondary School, 7 p.m.
People wishing to make submissions to the school board regarding the proposed transfer must do so in writing at least one week before the meeting, according to a notice from School District 73.
This requirement applies whether people want to make their submissions orally or in writing.
“This is common to all meetings,” said Harwood. “It’s no different than the meetings we held in Kamloops and the region on configuration.”
Having people make submissions beforehand helps the chair organize a speakers’ list, he said.
It also helps the recording secretary keep track of what is being said.