The motion made last week by Hay River Town Council to shut off energized parking behind the Godwin Mall and open it up for public use has been tabled to a future meeting.
The decision to table the item was made after business owners and residents spoke up against the idea.
During the Oct. 18 Committee of the Whole meeting, it was noted that consultations had been made with the seven building owners and that a survey requesting further input had been sent out. Only three were returned.
The original motion was to remove the infrastructure in the parking lot, put in speed bumps instead of metal rails, turn off the power and open up the lot to reduce the downtown parking crunch.
The gallery was nearly full at Monday’s meeting, as business owners within the nearby buildings awaited the result of the discussion.
Councillor Kevin Wallington made the motion to table the decision until councillor Bernie Langille returned as he was not present for this week’s meeting.
In addition to requesting more public input, the Council raised discussion over whether or not Langille is in conflict on the matter – being a building owner.
Councillors debated for an extended time whether to continue discussing the matter in his absence, or wait for his return. Both sides were taken in the discussion, moving the conversation away from the parking issue.
“I don’t think we should continue without Councillor Langille,” said Wallington.
Maher agreed, stating that whether or not he is in conflict should be the first discussion, before Council discusses the fate of the parking lot further.
The discussion will resume at the next regular council meeting.