By Barb McKay
Kincardine council has added yet another municipal facility to its list of potential renovation and building projects, even as it prepares to enter a challenging budget year.
Members of the Inverhuron Community Pavilion committee attended Kincardine’s council meeting last week to update council on plans for a pavilion in the park at Road 15 and
Last Wednesday the committee presented two new design plans, this time with a large indoor multi-functional space and meeting room, which put the pavilion at roughly 5,500 square feet. The building would cost between $850,000 and $1.05 million. The committee asked council to approve $75,000 in funding for detailed designs and costing for the project.
Committee member Marelle Evans said the majority of residents surveyed said they thought they would get more use out of a year-round facility. Fellow member Drew Robertson said Inverhuron is seeing a growing number of baby boomers and young families move into the community who are looking for things to do.
“The community is lacking a place for people to gather for events,” he said, adding that he can remember a time when Inverhuron had a pavilion and family dances were held every weekend.
“We miss those dances and the sense of community they brought.”
With a number of large infrastructure project looming on the horizon, the idea of adding another $1 million project to the list left many councillors with mixed feelings.
“I’m sure it scared the bejeepers out of many of us to look at numbers like that,” said councillor Ken Craig, adding that he couldn’t support adding the project to the budget at this time but noted it should be considered. “It’s time we do something. It may be a longer process than we’d like it to be, but we need to start something.”
Earlier this month councillors and senior municipal staff toured the Kincardine Centre for the Arts, the Annex and the Whitney Crawford Community Complex in Tiverton after receiving an engineer’s report that pointed to millions of dollars in repairs and upgrades that may be necessary. Municipal staff is in the process of creating a report that will prioritize work to be done over the short term and long term. Following that, council will hold a special meeting to discuss the facilities prior to the 2013 budget. The Inverhuron pavilion will now be part of that discussion.
Kincardine mayor Larry Kraemer told council it should tread carefully when looking at additional capital projects.
“I’d caution council, it’s (2013) going to be a tight year.”
He reminded the committee that Inverhuron residents have the use of nearby facilities in Tiverton and Underwood for indoor use.
“I, myself, liked the original proposal,” he said, adding that he thought an outdoor pavilion would get more use, particularly with seasonal residents.
Evans said it would cost nearly $1 million to rebuild the Whitney Crawford Community Centre, when Inverhuron has gone for so long without a facility.
“Just as people from Inverhuron go to Tiverton now, people from Tiverton could come to Inverhuron just as easily,” she said.
Council decided that it couldn’t allocate funds for the next design phase of the pavilion project until it is looked at further at budget time.