Chamber finalizing lease agreement for Team Kincardine, tourism offices


By Barb McKay

The municipality will have a copy of the head lease agreement shortly, according to realtor Linda Bowers.

In a telephone interview with The Independent Monday, Bowers said she had just returned from holidays and was in the process of obtaining a second signature on the agreement between the Kincardine and District Chamber of Commerce and Iron Gate, the landlord for 777B Queen Street. She expects that Chamber executive director Jackie Pawlikowski will be the one to sign the agreement.


“I have to be 100 per cent sure that I have all the documentation in order before we hand it over to the municipality, because it then becomes a public document,” Bowers said.


Kincardine council was presented with a three-year lease agreement just prior to its meeting March 19 for Kincardine tourism staff to share space in the downtown office space with the Chamber, as the lease holder, the BIA and PREDC, as a sub-leasee (the three groups make up Team Kincardine). The agreement had been reviewed with municipal staff the week prior.


Bowers said the Chamber will pay $1,700 per month, plus HST, to Iron Gate. Under the Chamber’s agreement with the municipality, it will contribute $209 per month, as will the BIA. PREDC will pay $419 per month. The municipality will pay $1,850.50 per month, which includes rent, hydro, water, weekly cleaning, Internet, floor mats and a proportionate share of added fees, such as exterior maintenance and snow removal.


Bowers, who is past president on the Chamber board of directors, said that when the process to obtain the downtown office began she declared conflict of interest during Team Kincardine and Chamber executive meetings whenever the topic came up in discussion.


“I was so concerned about the perception of it,” she said.


Municipal staff recommended that council agree to a modified lease that would have the Chamber and the BIA each pay $3,000 annually, as was discussed earlier in the year. There was a concern that although the municipality would pay the same rental downtown as it does at its location on Highway 21, it would have significantly less space.


In the week following the March 19 council meeting, BIA downtown development manager Rick Clarke argued that tourism staff would have use of roughly 700 square feet of the building, plus common space and the basement. This includes a 236-square-foot front room, an 85-square-foot office and a 420-square-foot “lobby” space. Municipal staff has indicated that the lobby space is a corridor and should be considered a common area, which would cut tourism space down to 330 square feet.


The landlord is currently assessing the building for work that has to be done and has submitted a grant application for new windows. Team Kincardine and tourism staff are expected to move into the space by May 1.