Back in March I commented on the designation of the Aurora Armoury here:
We learn from this September 10th Auroran piece that the then puzzling designation was little more than a precondition to the disposal of the building by the DND: http://www.newspapers-online.com/auroran/?p=8044
So a building that requires an additional $120,000 in maintenance with no immediate use and no one else itching to buy it was jumped on by council for a sale price of over 1/2 $Million.
I particularly like the CAO’s comparison to the Petch House, another cart-before-the-hore project by this council:
"Unlike the recently restored and reconstructed Petch House, Town Staff have an idea of what they want to use the building for."
Mr. Garbe said if the deal goes through it will be rented out for community space for the time being."
Rented out for "community space"?
Of course, it gets better:
“We want to approach the Farmers’ Market to see if there is any interest in having a year-round Farmers’ Market there, get their feedback and see if that facility will work out,” he said. “If it passes, we will move forward with having some discussions with them.”
So instead of approaching the Farmers Market, which could have been easily done during, or shortly after the finalizing of the Cultural Master Plan staff and council’s brilliant idea is to sink 3/4 of a $Million to buy something and THEN see if the facility will work out?
This is completely ass-backwards.
The Town owns underutilized properties in Library Square and has failed to redevelop them even after countless public input sessions were held over a 12 year span where several opportunities were explored.
The justification given for failing to move forward this term was that the almighty "Cultural Master Plan" was not finalized.
Well that document is now on the shelf, and nowhere in it does it speak to a certain use for the Armoury. At least not one that outlines a clear direction for town to drop that kind of $.
This wasn’t a capital purchase discussed during the budget cycle, there was no $ allocated for capital or operating costs and that is why we see it being funded from the Cash-in-Lieu of Parkland reserve fund.
Aside from negotiating the price (a 10% savings on a $500,000+ pricetag, wow thanks Staff!) what else are we in the public kept in the dark about?
We’ll here’s an interesting tidbit that didn’t seem to come up in anything I’ve read so far.
Somewhere in 2011-2012 The Armoury was a classified Contaminated Site as defined by the CCME National Classification System.
The following contaminated media exist on the site:
Contaminant Type Medium Type
PHCs (petroleum hydrocarbons) Groundwater
PHCs (petroleum hydrocarbons) Soil
BTEXs (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xzylene) Groundwater
PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) Groundwater
PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) Soil
Metal, metalloid, and organometallic Soil
Other inorganics Soil
More details can be found on this page from the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory:
So, is the $120,000 amount set aside for "renovations" going to be used for site remediation before the town rents it out for community space, or god forbid a Farmer’s Market that encourages the storing and selling of food?
This whole rushed effort reads as a race to a photo-op by an incumbent council which had very little to show for their term aside from their other Petch-project which too is inconsistent with the town’s litany of plans.
Both the Armoury and The Petch house are the chinks in the well padded armour of plans that do little to protect its residents from ass-hats who have no comprehension of what it means to "do with less" or "fair share".
For some enough is never enough, and on October 27th we’ll see exactly who has had their fill.