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Pool room at Sister Kennedy Centre, January 20, 2024. Image: Randy Thoms/Acadia Broadcasting

Councillors stepping forward for new pool tables

By Randy Thoms May 15, 2024 | 2:04 PM

A lengthy debate over pool tables has two Fort Frances councillors now raising money for their purchase.

The new tables will be used at the Sister Kennedy Centre.

It had two snooker tables, but one was taken out of commission when it was revealed the rails did not fit properly.

Pool players also expressed concern that the snooker tables were too large for most seniors to use.

They also committed to raising $4,900 toward the purchase of new smaller ones costing $8,713.

Administration suggested the purchase be deferred to 2025.

Mayor Andrew Hallikas had concerns that the item was not initially in this year’s budget that was recently passed.

“When I see unbudgeted, that concerns me. And what concerns me then is that a possible precedent is being set because we have other advisory committees. And then are we going to get in a pattern where advisory committees come forward with unbudgeted amounts, and we grant them,” says Hallikas.

Councillor Steve Maki worried that delaying the purchase would only lead to higher costs in the future.

“To defer this till next year, those pool tables aren’t going to be sitting there. They’re reserved. But there’s no money tied up to reserve those pool tables,” says Maki. “That company’s not going to hang on to them forever. And things only go up in price. So, to wait a year is just going to mean more money.”

Council rejected administration’s suggestion and another for the town to pick up the remaining share of the pool tables’ cost.

It was then that Maki stepped forward.

“Councilor McTaggart and I are volunteering to step up and fundraise the remaining amount on behalf of the senior center pool players,” says Maki.

With the offer, council agreed to purchase the pool tables at no cost to the town.

“You never know which resolution, no matter how small the amount, is going to jump up and bite you,” says Hallikas about the length of the debate.

He also applauds the efforts of Maki and McTaggart for stepping forward.