© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
Mayor Greg Dionne argues against the city taking ownership of the federal building at 1288 Central Ave. at Monday‚Äôs executive committee meeting, noting that he‚Äôs been having a hard enough time convincing city council to divest itself of properties they already own.
Between the possibility of adding a building to their inventory and spending money on roof repairs, civic-owned buildings remain a contentious issue at city hall.
The federal government‚Äôs building at 1288 Central Ave. has been deemed a ‚Äúsurplus property‚ÄĚ and is slated to go on the market, with the provincial and municipal governments granted first crack at it.
The province has said no, and city administration has also recommended against its purchase, though Coun. Rick Orr suggested at Monday‚Äôs executive committee meeting that the city look a little closer.
‚ÄúIf this is a serviceable building that is in good shape it‚Äôs something that the city needs to take a look at,‚ÄĚ he said.
‚ÄúIn the short term, maybe we don‚Äôt need it, but it could be a rental space, or the downstairs area retail space could be used.‚ÄĚ
The building might fit a nice niche in downtown redevelopment, he suggested.
‚ÄúTo think that we have no interest in it, I think it needs to go back to planning and development to look the options.‚ÄĚ
Shooting down this suggestion, Mayor Greg Dionne reminded council of his goal to lessen the tax burden when it comes to municipal building ownership.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm having a hard enough time getting council to sell surplus buildings, let alone look at buying another building,‚ÄĚ he said.
The Margo Fournier Centre, the Girl Guide Hall and the Judo Building are currently under city council‚Äôs microscope in their consideration of which buildings to divest themselves of.
The Kinsmen Water Park‚Äôs waterslides did not open this year due to their dilapidated state -- something that did not happen overnight, implying a lack of municipal interest in funding the structure.
City council is waiting on a $200,000 external investment in the waterslides before they pay the $60,000 balance to fix the structure.
I‚Äôm having a hard enough time getting council to sell surplus buildings, let alone look at buying another building. Greg Dionne
Monday‚Äôs meeting revealed more structures the city is reluctant to fund.
Within this year‚Äôs recommended roofing projects is a suggested $205,000 investment in the old city yards.
‚ÄúWe should be looking at closing the old city yards‚ÄĚ Dionne said, questioning whether the re-roofing expense is greater than the entire structure‚Äôs worth.
The building debate will continue at the July 14 city council meeting, set to take place at city hall beginning at 4 p.m.
Monday‚Äôs executive committee meeting set the stage for the July 14 meeting, with council tentatively voting against looking into the purchase of 1288 Central Ave., as well as against repairing the old city yards roof.
Alfred Jenkins Field House roof troubles
An unusual roofing investment in this year‚Äôs list of suggested repairs is that of the Alfred Jenkins Field House.
Only four years old, the city‚Äôs elected officials were taken aback by the expense, calling to question those responsible for the structure.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a design issue,‚ÄĚ public works project co-ordinator Don Cheeseman told council.
‚ÄúThe curbing between the flat roof and the peaked roof has failed,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúTypically you have a flashing there -- there isn‚Äôt. There‚Äôs just a membrane, that after four years of snow and ice has failed.‚ÄĚ
Ice damming on the south side of the structure has been backing up and getting under the metal roof, lifting screws and creating leakage under the roof.