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Council to consider expression of interest for QE school

Council will review a request at today’s Committee of the Whole meeting to submit an expression of interest to acquire the now closed Queen Elizabeth Public School in Picton.

A report of the Community Development Department will be received at today’s 1p.m. meeting in Shire Hall.

The Hastings Prince Edward District School Board declared the school surplus in November, 2018. The process for disposal requires the board to solicit interest from a designated list of public sector organizations prior to making it available for public sale. Expressions of interest are followed by a further 90-day period to formalize and accept an offer to purchase.

“Given the location, size and redevelopment potential of the Queen Elizabeth School property, this disposition provides the County with an opportunity to address one or more emerging needs within the community,” said Grace Nyman, Community Development Co-ordinator, in her report.

The municipality and the Prince Edward Lennox and Addington Social Services (PELASS) are public sector agencies eligible to submit expressions.

PELASS has agreed it would be prepared to submit an expression on the municipality’s behalf, if necessary, as it has higher priority ranking on the list of eligible public agencies and already partners with the County on affordable housing issues.

If multiple expressions of interest are received, the school board must enter into negotiation with the agencies in ranking order of the following list:

1. Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO)
2. Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board
3. Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Centre-Est de l’Ontario
4. Prince Edward-Lennox and Addington Social Services
5. Loyalist College of Applied Arts and Technology
6. Collège Boréal d’arts appliqués et de technologie
7. Queen’s University
8. Children’s Mental Health Services
9. Southeast Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)
10. Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit
11. The Crown in Right of Ontario (Infrastructure Ontario)
12. County of Prince Edward
13. Hastings County
14. Métis Nation of Ontario Secretariat
15. Chiefs of Ontario
16. Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres
17. Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians
18. Nishnawbe Aski Nation
19. Grand Council Treaty #3
20. Union of Ontario Indians
21. The Crown in Right of Canada

If an expression of interest is received from one of the designated organizations by the deadline of Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, then a further 90-day period is available to negotiate an offer to purchase. Expressions of interest do not commit purchase of the property. Any terms of acquisition would come back to council for approval.

If at the end of the initial period no offer is accepted, then the board enters into negotiation with the next highest ranked agency that expressed interest, or, if none exists, offers the property for sale to other parties.

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  1. Susan says:

    Without subsidies or grants, how does a private enterprise make money from affordable housing? The rent won’t cover the investment.

  2. Gary Mooney says:

    Snowman, when Pinecrest was built it was financed by the province — i.e. millions of provincial taxpayers. If the County was to purchase it, thousands of PEC taxpayers would be buying it from the millions of provincial taxpayers, returning the current value to provincial taxpayers in exchange for ownership.

    I doubt that the County would buy the building and keep it. It might buy it and flip is to some other company or organization who wants to convert it to affordable housing.

    I also doubt that the County has paid for upkeep and preservation of the building. This is a provincial responsibility, financed out of the education component of the property tax.

  3. Michelle says:

    Why has Hastings County received millions for affordable housing and The County has nothing? Do we know how to access funding?

  4. Mike Rodgers says:

    Do people not understand. Our council needs to get out of the real estate business. They need to focus on what is on the table now that needs to be completed before digging another expensive hole. This foolishness has-gone on lone enough

  5. Mark says:

    If we purchase this, let’s give some thought to moving our Shire Hall offices to a wing of Queen Elizabeth. Already office compatible and would have parking and finally be accessible to the public. And the real deal breaker would be releiving the taxpayer from paying the exorbinant rent at the Edward Building. Think on it Council. Win, win. We need Councilors to find savings, and this one is easy.

  6. Snowman says:

    The question of just who financed the building of the “central” schools, built (or expanded in the case of Queen Elizabeth and Wellington Consolidated School/CML Snider) came up when Pinecrest School was sold. I’m not sure that it was ever answered. But one should not assume that The Province built those schools in the 1960’s just because they do that now.
    I do know that a lot of local taxes have been used in the upkeep and preservation of these buildings in the last
    55 years!

  7. sue says:

    So just to be clear, the idea is that tax dollars will purchase a school tax payors already paid for, in order to help a housing shortage the county created through marketing sales where primarily developers have been enriched? Tax payors won’t benefit although are on the hook, again.

  8. Michelle says:

    There had better be a plan for Qeen E other than on the backs of taxpayers. Needed yes, but not affordeble by a primary residential tax base.

  9. Gary says:

    Yes of çourse Gary; and where do you think the provincial government got those dollars? It’s a double dip. Further this County cannot afford to buy surplus schools and renovate at millions for affordable housing without funding and a private partnership. Can’t be buying elephants when we can’t pay the highest water rates in Ontario if not all of Canada.

  10. Gary Mooney says:

    Gary, County government did not pay for this school, or any other school. The provincial government finances and builds schools.

  11. Mike Rodgers says:

    I thought the county was broke, they have a store in Wellington that the county bought and still is sucking up tax dollars. They have an arena that sits and sits for years generating nothing but study after study. They own one school I believe in Bloomfield. When is some one who sits around the golden horse shoe going to realize as real estate tycoons Prince Edward County stinks.They have two halls that compete against the private sector and win because they can lose money and the tax payer picks up the tab. That is why no one has ever built a hall here. Look around this area, how many other community’s have public owned halls? Let the private sector buy the school,tear it down and build some housing and town houses to generate tax dollars. No wait every time the county gets a little money they hire more top heavy employees.

  12. Gary says:

    Since tax dollars built the school, I take it we would have to purchase what we already paid for.

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