Roundabout announced without council vote

$1.5 million airport roundabout would cost city $500,000

Several Charlottetown city councillors are expressing concerns that the city committed itself to $500,000 for a new roundabout near the airport with an open vote of council.

The $1.5-million project, with costs shared between the city, the province and Charlottetown Airport, was announced last week.

Coun. Jason Coady is wondering how half a million dollars in funding can be announced for a roundabout near the airport without formal approval from council. Mayor Clifford Lee said he was led to believe he had consensus from council during a closed-door session.

"Council has given a consensus to myself that we are going to do the project in 2013, as requested by the other two funding partners," said Lee.

"The reason we didn't pass a resolution in a public forum was because we need to give the other funding partners an opportunity to be part of the public announcement."

If the project had gone to a public vote first that would have trumped any kind of formal announcement with the other funding partners. Lee said a public vote will take place before a cheque is written for the project.

Coady said he would have preferred a more open process.

"We talked about the project and what it would entail behind closed doors," he said.

"That's certainly not an open and transparent level of government, to make decisions behind closed doors."

Councillors Danny Redmond and Mitchell Tweel are also questioning how Lee could announce the city's contribution to the project without it being approved by council.