Council set to decide Dan Murphy’s fate

THE decision to allow Dan Murphy’s to open before the rest of the Summer Centre complex is completed could come down to one man.

At the last council meeting in December council voted against allowing the alcohol retailer to open early.

However, the next day, councillors John Davis, Ron Gander and  Kevin Duffy lodged a rescission motion, which means the application will come before council again at a meeting on January 22. 

In December the vote was won five to three, with councillors Chris  Gryllis and Jeff Whitton declaring an interest. 

Councillors Jason Hamling and  Russell Turner were not present for the vote.

Cr Hamling says he has questions he needs answered before he will support the application, however he is leaning towards a yes vote.

If Cr Turner votes the same way it would be tied five-all and it would come down to a casting vote from the mayor John Davis.

“I hope I wouldn’t be put in that position,” Cr Davis said.

He believes the vote will not come down to a tie.

“Since then there has been a lot of work done on the place and, as I understand it, the concerns were about pedestrians and traffic, and I think they [Dan Murphy’s] have met those conditions,” he said.

“I believe and hope all councillors will go down to the site the day of the 22nd and have a full tour, look at it for themselves and then make a decision.”

Cr Davis believes some councillors will change their vote from the previous meeting based on the development of construction.

“I have been down there and I intend on going there again on the 22nd and it is a lot better than it was,” he said.

“I think the developments that have happened since give councillors a bit of room to move.”

Cr Hamling said he had concerns about the legality of voting down an application that met all legal requirements. 

“We’re not going to stop this from happening,” he said.

“I want to know what would happen to us legally, if we would be brought to court if we knocked it back.”

Cr Turner could not be contacted.

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