"Difficult" to fund university request solely from economic development: manager

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Economic development manager Marc Boileau.

The city’s economic development manager said Friday it could be “difficult” to find money in his budget alone to help fund a study that will examine the feasibility of creating a university in Cornwall.

Marc Boileau said at a city budget steering committee meeting his budget for marketing the city is fairly tight, and doesn’t leave much room to add spending.

While he suggested his department is supportive of examining the university issue in Cornwall, finding the money will be tough.

Coun. Andre Rivette disagreed, and said the $200,000 the economic development department has earmarked for marketing the city can be pared down to free up $30,000 to help fund the study.

“The only way I would support funding that study is taking the money from economic development,” said Andre Rivette, adding he would not support adding to the tax base to find the money.

Rivette went a step further and suggested if economic development can’t find the money, it “sends the wrong message.”

A group of local supporters recently went before city council asking for $55,000 to fund a $75,000 study it will use to make a case for placing a university in Cornwall.

Some city councillors suggested they would be comfortable spending $30,000 if the United Counties and Akwesasne ponied up the balance.

A report on the subject is expected to be provided to city council in the future.

Geographic location: Cornwall

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