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Mar 14,2005 - Now News


By Leneen Robb - Staff Reporter - Now News

Port Moody taxpayers wondering whether their city will part with the $40,000 it has allocated to help keep the troubled Smart Choices Society financially afloat will have to wait - an announcement expected Wednesday has not materialized.

City spokesperson Colleen Rhode, who told The NOW earlier this week that more information would likely be available Wednesday, did not respond to a request for an update.

And in Coquitlam, city spokesperson Therese Mickelson said the big news - which, according to sources will likely regard a sale of Smart Choices - is not yet ready to be released.

She said she didn't know when an announcement would be made.

Sources, however, have told The NOW it will likely come before the end of March.

Coquitlam Mayor Jon Kingsbury, meanwhile, said in a phone interview Friday that Smart Choices - which has cost Coquitlam taxpayers an estimated $3.58 million in cash and in-kind contributions - has been good for the city.

"We've got a tremendous value from Smart Choices, and it's not something you can just (detail) in a quick interview," he said.

"There have been so many things that have come about as a result of going through that process, and the Canadian municipalities are going to have a tremendous benefit out of this."

Just out of a TransLink meeting, Kingsbury was not able to detail the benefits over the phone Friday afternoon.

When asked when he thinks the announcement will be made, he said he doesn't know.

"I've been away for two weeks," he said. "So I know it's in the works, that's all."

Port Moody Mayor Joe Trasolini is on vacation, and did not return a request for an interview on Smart Choices.

So far, the cities of Coquitlam and Port Moody, School District 43, Douglas College and the federal government's Industry Canada department have given approximately $9.5 million in cash and in-kind contributions toward the project.

Private companies have also given funds, although those are not detailed in audited financial statements released to The NOW.

The Smart Choices Society is responsible for the website, as well as the Innovation Centre.

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