Kincardine council already has grant money to fix up the old town
hall (Kincardine Arts Centre).
Now, there is a proposal in the works to obtain more federal and
provincial grant money to build a new arts centre here.
Council began discussion at the meeting Wednesday night (Aug. 5),
trying to figure out which two councillors would sit on a resource
group, advising the renovation project at the arts centre. However,
that discussion was deferred until after presentations in
There, former mayor Glenn Sutton suggested council consider
renovating the old town hall and building an extension to it (toward
the south) to accommodate a new arts centre. This would necessitate
demolishing the former fire hall structure.
Sutton added that there is a new grant available through the
Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, aimed at non-profit groups and the
arts. Eligible projects include art galleries, libraries, museums,
performing arts centres (for the creation and presentation of the
arts) and projects that preserve or enhance heritage structures.
Eligible projects would cost between $750,000 and $15 million, and
the deadline for applications is Aug. 18.
Deputy mayor Laura Haight said the purpose of the original grant,
which has been approved, is to take about $900,000 (including
Kincardine's one-third share) and restore the heritage aspects of
the old town hall, such as replacing windows, restoring the cupola
and putting the bell back on top of the building. She said she sees
that as one project, and the new arts centre as a separate project,
using the $1 million in reserve for that building.
"You could do both projects at the same time and reduce costs," said
"The clock is ticking on this," said Haight. "We have to complete
the heritage upgrades by March, 2011. Is it worth delaying that
project to find out if we can do the second one?"
Councillor Guy Anderson continued to reject any notion of fixing up
the old town hall. "It should be torn down," he said. "We already
have $1 million in reserve to construct a new arts centre, but if we
restore this old building, we're not going to tear it down." He
added if a non-profit group were to get another grant, a new arts
centre could be built elsewhere, "and then we've fixed up this
building (old town hall) for nothing. I say we look at other
"The arts centre can't even carry itself," said councillor Marsha
Leggett. "Why should the rest of the municipality, from North Bruce
to Kincardine, put tax money into that building? People should let
us know if they even want this."
06/08/2009 11:27 PM
Sutton said that in the 2005 strategic plan, a new arts centre was high
on the list of priorities.
Councillor Ron Hewitt disagreed with an addition to the old town hall.
"We got a grant to do a job," he said. "The facility serves its purpose
well. It's what we need for right now. We've received a nice bit of
money to restore it properly. Once it's fixed up, it will be like a new
Bryan Walden then made his presentation, following on the heels of one
he made two months earlier. At that time, he called for a new multi-use
facility and arts centre on the location of the old town hall. Now, he
proposes drawing up an application to get funding through the new grant
for arts centres to see if Kincardine would be eligible. "We need a
better building than what we have," he said. "Refurbishing the old town
hall will fix up the outside, but there will still be problems on the
inside. It doesn't meet the needs of the theatre groups in town."
Walden said if the grant money came through, another site would have to
be found, given the municipality is fixing up the old town hall. "I'd
like you to delay just for a short while to see if we could get funding
through this grant," he said. "We'll never see money like this again.
Let's look into it and see if we can't formulate a new multi-use
convention and arts centre for the Municipality of Kincardine."
"There's a lot of animosity about tearing down the heritage structure of
the old town hall," said councillor Mike Leggett. "This (proposal) is a
possible solution rather than throwing $1 million into an aging
structure. We could sell that building (old town hall). It's not the
best location. I agree with Bryan (Walden). Let's invest our time and
money into something the whole municipality can be proud of and
everybody can come here and use."
"There is time to look into this idea," said Haight, noting that
tendering of the renovation project at the old town hall doesn't come to
council until October.
"I support creating new heritage rather than preserving unsalvageable
heritage," said councillor Kenneth Craig. "Regardless of what structure
you choose, I don't believe the arts is ever going to pay its way."
"I'm in favour of looking into this project (new arts centre)," said
mayor Larry Kraemer. "I'd like to see how much we're talking in actual
cost before we make a commitment to it."
Council agreed to have staff work with Walden and the local arts groups
to draw up a proposal by the next council meeting Aug. 12
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