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Former Picton Town Hall discussion back to council Tuesday

Picton Town Hall

A special Committee of the Whole Meeting Tuesday, Sept. 19 will hear concerns about listing the former Picton Town Hall/Fire Hall for sale, and alternatives for its use.

The 2 Ross St., building is to be examined by council as part of an inventory of its vacant or unused municipal properties.

A committee of the whole report from June was deferred by council to Tuesday’s special meeting. Several public meetings have been held by citizens wanting to save the hall for public use.

Picton councillor Lenny Epstein hosted the first meeting in July to discuss possible futures for the building, vacated in 2016 by its principle tenant, the fire department.

A ‘Save the Picton Town Hall’ citizens’ group formed and its current concern is that Greg Sorbara (owner of the Royal Hotel project) wishes council to put out a request for proposal so he can make a bid to purchase and keep the upstairs as a meeting hall. The citizens’ ‘Save the Picton Town Hall’ group does not wish the hall to go to private business, and instead seeks community ownership.

The group plans to present a plan to council Tuesday night.

Leslie Smail-Persaud will make a deputation on behalf of Sarah Moran, showing a video of the history of the former Picton Town Hall.

Rebecca Sweetman, on behalf of the Farmers’ Market; and Dodi Ellenbogen, on behalf of the National Farm Union, are also scheduled to give deputations in support of a market being located at the site. Rosalind Adams has also asked to make a deputation.

The meeting is to be held in the council chambers at Shire Hall, beginning at 7 p.m.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Lynn says:

    Does council not have the power to “sell” the Town Hall to a community group for $1 if they wanted? Is Lenny Epstein the only councillor who seems to be fighting for the community’s rights? I just don’t get it. The hall/land was originally given to the community, so how can this council decide to take it and sell it to a private businessman? Is it just because this council does not have our community’s best interests at heart and only see $ signs? The hall is a designated landmark…
    Should “landmarks”not be preserved as part of our heritage and identity?

  2. Chuck says:

    Why does this article refer to the Town Hall as “Former”? When did it get removed as Picton’s Town Hall?

  3. Dennis Fox says:

    Steve Ferguson – You challenged me publicly to prove my point and my source of info, which I did – and then didn’t answer the most basic questions asking you to state your position…. So what is your position on selling the Town Hall?

  4. Mark says:

    So as asked Mr.Ferguson, what is your position on Picton’s Town Hall? Are you on board to sell our Historic gathering place?

  5. Steve Ferguson says:

    Thanks, Dennis, for your answer to my question.

  6. Dennis Fox says:

    Steve Ferguson – I’m surprised that you are not aware of what your fellow councillors are up to. I direct you to the Wellington Times – of September 20, 2017 – page 27. Here’s the quote…

    “In The Facebook group Save Picton Town Hall, Councillor Epstein expressed an interest in working with Sorbara, if he is interested in a true partnership, in creating a situation that will work for everyone….. I will urge [Sorbara] to explore with us alternative ways to participate.”

    To me the “us” Councillor Epstein refers to is Council and that he is only interested on talking with Sorbara and no one else.

    Steve Ferguson, as you must be aware, Council has not made any decision on issuing an RFP – to have such words expressed by any councillor should be a concern because it gives the public the idea that the decision has been decided before anyone else has a chance to respond to a RFP – if that is the route council decides to go. As we are also aware – Sorbara has written a letter expressing an interest – gee what a transparent process. I bet he is he only developer to do so, at this point.

    So Steve Ferguson, what is you position on selling the Town Hall? Also, can you outline the process as to how the RFP will be advertised to other interested parties? Sorry Steve, but this is not a good way to start out on an issue so close to this community.

  7. Steve Ferguson says:

    Dennis Fox: “My concern is not centered on any particular developer, but I am very concerned when I hear our local politicians asking for a particular developer to get involved. This can be a dangerous way to foster a business relationship.”

    I agree with you Dennis. Can you shed some light on which developer was ‘asked’ to get involved and by whom?

  8. Dennis Fox says:

    My concern is not centered on any particular developer, but I am very concerned when I hear our local politicians asking for a particular developer to get involved. This can be a dangerous way to foster a business relationship. Far too many municipalities have gotten themselves into difficulties taking this approach. How can Council or staff represent the public interests, when their “developer buddies” are sitting across the negotiations table from them? They can’t and that’s the real problem with what some Councillors have stated. Making me wonder if they understand their role?

  9. WellyBoot says:

    Anything but Sorbara. The debacle of the Royal “Reno” should prove that he shouldn’t be allowed to get his hands on another historic building!!

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