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County invites proposals for Picton Town Hall and former fire hall

The County’s Community Development Department is inviting proposals for ongoing use and operation of the current Picton Town Hall and former Picton Fire Hall.

Proposals are open for the downtown Picton property’s use, operation and ownership. The County’s application document states the overall value of the proposal will be considered in the context of the economic, cultural, social and environmental benefits to the community.

The background is that until 2016, both levels of 2 Ross St., were occupied with the upper floor serving and continuing to serve as a town hall, since 1988, an the lower level being utilized for the Picton Fire Hall. In the summer of 2016, the fire hall moved to its new facility at 8 McDonald Drive.

Council sought a staff report regarding future use for the 2,800 sq. ft building. There had been discussion about selling the fire hall to offset the new station’s construction costs. No formal decision has been made on the former fire hall, or the upper level.

In the fall of 2017, municipal staff recommended a request for proposals (RFP) be issued to ascertain the breadth of interest and options for the property.

Many inquiries had been received for repurposing all or part of the building. Several public meetings were held with residents, representatives of user groups, advocates for built heritage preservation and others who wish to see the building and property remain public with no loss of community space.

The RFP on the County’s website explains the history of the building, its current uses, designations and classifications. It also directs all the requirements needed for the proposal.

The deadline to submit expressions of interest is 2 pm on Nov. 26, 2018.

Documents may be obtained from the Purchasing Clerk at 280 Picton Main Street, 2nd Floor, or downloaded from the County website (http://www.thecounty.ca/media/pe-county/documents/department/tendersrfp/2018-CDD-38-Picton-Town-Hall-and-Former-Fire-Hall-Final.pdf)

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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    Thanks Chris – I’m sure you are correct.

  2. Chris Keen says:

    Dennis: Save Picton Town Hall, I believe.

  3. Dennis Fox says:

    Sarah – what does SPTH refer to? Thanks!

  4. Sarah says:

    Several of the groups have voluntarily proposed that they could pay more for use of the hall. SPTH want whatever solution is created to be financially sustainable. They are looking at different ways of doing that because they want the hall to have a long and useful future, just as it has always served the community in its past.

  5. SAB says:

    All the responses sound reasonable….BUT…are the residents considering the cost to maintain this building…..the rents that the county is charging, I am not sure they would cover this cost…Are the taxpayers ready for another increase to cover costs for certain groups to have access to this building or are the groups willing to pay more to have this access

  6. Sarah says:

    It is, indeed, up to us citizens to work at keeping our community thriving. Affordable public spaces like our Picton Town Hall help us do that. There is a community working group which has already been active to pull together people and ideas that will save this hall with its long history as a gathering place for the community. The group is called Save Picton Town Hall. Its aim is to keep the hall in public hands for community use. This group already registered with the corporation of Prince Edward County in response to the Expression of Interest issued earlier this week. They have conducted a visioning session with the community and are conducting stakeholder interviews, with the support of a recent successful grant application. The hall is used daily for bridge, Tai Chi, Yoga, Line Dancing, Scottish Dancing, Pipe Band, Food not Bombs, Groove Tonic dancing, horticultural meetings, Arts Council meetings, workshops and events, and more. If we keep it there’ll be lots more ways in which it will be used. We desparately need affordable space in Picton. If you are a supporter of keeping the hall for community use there will be ways to help. Be a part of it if you can.

  7. Chuck says:

    A referendum could backfire. A lot of folks say in Ameliasburgh may have absolutely no interest in tax dollars supporting this building that they never use.

  8. Dennis Fox says:

    While I can understand and appreciate the need to find the fire dept. a new and better located facility, I’m not at all sure about this process that council and staff have invented to determine the future of the old hall. If I am understanding this article correctly, the ownership of the hall is also to be determined – meaning that it could become privately owned. I believe that the future and ownership of such publicly owned buildings should not be determined by any one council and staff. This building was built for public use, paid for and maintained with public money for many years – in every way it is a publicly owned building. Shouldn’t it be the public who decides (through a referendum) if they want to keep the building or not? If they do, then that becomes the base for discussion. If the public decides they are not interested in owning the building, then and only then should council be allowed to put it on the market- with a clearly defined role for its future use.

    A few years ago, the municipality was looking for space to expand their office space to – could this building help with that problem?

  9. Paul Cole says:

    This is good news hopefully The County retains ownership of this historically significant building for future generations to use. Its up to us Citizens to keep it busy and in the black llke they say “Use it or lose it”.

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