Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
April 24, 2024
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News
March 20, 2024
Volume 194 No. 12

The People’s Hall

Wellington Town Hall Expression of Interest (EOI) Working Group will “engage with the community” and “consider both the opportunities and constraints for this municipal building to seek the best use through an Expression of Interest process.”
<p>Wellington Town Hall (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)</p>
Wellington Town Hall (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

Council voted last week to establish a working group to “recommend to Council the content and scope of an Expression of Interest related to the future use with potential sale of the Wellington Town Hall.”

Councillors Braney and Engelsdorfer and two staff members, one from the Development Services Department, and Lisa Lindsay, Director of Recreation and Community Facilities, were appointed.

Two spots were created for County residents. Nominations open this month.

The Wellington Town Hall Expression of Interest (EOI) Working Group will “engage with the community” and “consider both the opportunities and constraints for this municipal building to seek the best use through an Expression of Interest process.”

Council rejected a motion from Councillors Maynard and MacNaughton to defer the move to seek expressions of interest in order to open a public consultation period for six months, to both educate the public on the financial challenges and seek citizen-led
ideas for the building’s rehabilitation and use.

“The intent is not to preclude seeking an expression of interest but to pause and allow for a fulsome conversation with the public on the future of the Wellington Town Hall,” said Councillor Maynard. “Residents deserve to have their comments and suggestions heard to keep the Wellington Town Hall, the people’s hall, open.”

But Councillors argued that the working group would better facilitate informed consultations with the public, to move more efficiently toward the best solution for the long-term preservation of the designated heritage building in the center of Wellington.

They also noted that a sale is not the only possible outcome of the consultations.

Councillor Braney stressed that the working group would be seeking public consultation before moving forward. 

“I wholeheartedly agree that public consultation is important but to move forward with the Expression of Interest process is to gain tangible information before going to the public.”

“If you don’t have tangible information you can’t have a good conversation and the best result.”

“It’s a heritage building so we have some say in how it is used,” he noted.

Councillor Phil St. Jean stressed that seeking expressions of interest from the public “does not preclude not selling the property, and is the best way to find out if there are interested parties. It is a way to appeal to members of the public and hear what they would like to do.”

“We have not declared this property surplus to the needs of the municipality yet.”  

Director Lisa Lindsay noted that the building is in urgent need of repair. Work is required on the foundation and on the exterior masonry, just to begin. 

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 12 edition of The Picton Gazette
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