Cornwall Ontario – Insanity or Genius? In an election year with a record budget increase looming an apparent leak from an in camera session is buzzing around town about the City purchasing the BOM building on Pitt Street to create an art centre or facsimile.
There’s a huge degree of insanity to this. The former art gallery sent emails to city pleading with the city to assist in purchasing the building. It would’ve cost about 1/3 of the purchase price of the BOM building, was already established as a gallery and get this, the two room space above the restaurant that was part of the building could be used as a rest area for bus drivers. The cost that the city pays in rent for a space across the street would be just about the amount of the mortgage on the building!
The BOM building which is currently listed at $549K would need extensive upgrading and remodelling.
The only way that duck could dance is if BOM donated it to the city (if they bank itself owns the building), and even then upgrades could cost more than if they city had bought the former art gallery space.
With reserves at near record lows, a water main issue, other works issues, depleting revenue, and runaway emergency service costs with no apparent will to examine them, where is the city supposed to find the cash to roll this through? Is it simply a last gasp from Flipper, Elaine, and her monkey?
With the Progress Fund allocated to the White Elephant that is our Benson Centre for years to come there is no cash available for this project currently. If the funds from Aultsville Theatre and the Woodhouse Museum were to be redirected that potentially could cover some of the cost of the maintenance and staffing, but again, that would take some vision and guts which this council is clearly lacking, and as a lame duck really isn’t morally correct in implementing at this point.
Another question was why was this an in camera issue and how did it get leaked? Surely there is an issue either around the council table or with management for this to be street buzz?
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