CFN – Is it time for the City of Cornwall to step up and show some fiscal Conservatism and preserve one of the few gems this city has left to preserve?
Unlike nearby Brockville Ontario, Cornwall doesn’t have many of it’s older buildings left in commission. Even the Port Theatre, an original Roxy, is only 70 years old, but being inside the old dame makes one wistful of a time long gone; yet something that a city craving an arts centre surely can appreciate.
Right now the City of Cornwall is subsidizing Aultsville theatre, essentially the auditorium for the St. Lawrence College campus to the tune of nearly $100,000 per year. While a lovely room, it’s under used and due to union contracts and a very silly board; priced out of existence for most promoters.
Recently using government grants they hired a marketing director who essentially is now booking bands on behalf of Aultsville. As of print time Mr. Graham Greer has refused to provide any numbers showing profit of these events. As a matter of fact when his own former band, the Bar Stool Prophets reunited for charity they did it at a nearby watering hole.
How did the city end up giving Aultsville $100K per year? Maybe St. Lawrence College board member and former Cornwall CAO Paul Fitzpatrick could answer that question better than this scribbler.
What I do know is that the Port theatre is available – asking price is $140K. That’s lot, stock and barrel.
The mortgage if purchased would be about $8,000 per year.
If a $500,000 loan were taken out to hyper upgrade the facility that would cost about $ 28,000 per year.
While Aultsville is nicer and has a few more seats; we’re only renting essentially. For about $40K per year Cornwall could own its own 500 seat space. After the renovations and mortgage are paid the cost would be near naught.
With some vision and leadership the City of Cornwall could lead in boosting Le Village, saving one of the few heritage buildings left in the city, and save much needed tax payer money.
Now that Mr. Fitzpatrick has
been run out of his job retired surely some smarter politicians and city managers can take action before the Port is sold or worse collapses?
There are options. What do you think? You can post your comments below.