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It’s not the Bank of Shire

It was said a little while ago that people are starting to think of Shire Hall as “The Bank of Shire Hall”.
Everyone who wants some money for one reason or another applies to Shire Hall for a grant.
I don’t think there is any other municipality that just gives money away just because they are asked for it.
In the first place we do not have money to give away.
We have a huge deficit and even though some think it can be reduced by the people who use water and sewer in Picton, etc.  It would mean that the water cost would be so high that none of us would be able to flush our toliets or wash our clothes etc etc.
It is time that organizations budget their money so they do not have to ask for handouts.
Let’s cut the cheese debate and at the same time cut some of the staff that we do not need.

I am pleased to see that some councillors are turning down some of the expenses we do not need.
Just remember we may want something but if we do not need it, then we probably should not have it.
Doris Lane

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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  1. Marc Keelan-Bishop says:

    Doris Lane says: “why would they throw it away for a convention no one needs. ”

    How exactly are you an expert on what anyone needs? Do you know anything about networking and the benefits it might or might not bring to the county? This knee-jerk budget cutting of anything that might be worthwhile has got to stop. The Cheese program, for example, has huge potential. But because after a measly 2 years no new factories have been set up, it was cut. That is incredibly short sited. Fifth Town alone brings in huge revenues for the county. Budgets cuts, yes. But vision too.

  2. John Thompson says:

    The first step in assessing solar for the Regent would be to have the roof structure checked as it may or may not provide sufficient support.

  3. Dayton Johnson says:

    Hit submit too quickly! i meant to add that the Regent Theatre Foundation could propose to Council that they would be interested in researching and getting price estimates for a suitable solar build then approach Council as to how much they can kick in.Take the initiative and be proud when your successful! There’s a pretty reliable source of information available from estimated returns to number of sunny days in PEC. The gravy train is runnying lol out of track! Look to other innovative communities,watch and learn.

  4. John Thompson says:

    Mico Fit contracts for roof top solar are still $.802 but ground mounted has been reduced to $.64.

    The County did an RFP for solar at the Wellington Community Centre but it seems that the evaluation committee did not report any recommendations to Council. Maybe the new Council should revisit as the building was built to accomodate 50kw.

    We looked at a proposal to put solar on the Curling Club along with a new roof but the roof gets hit by stray baseballs, so the discussion did’nt go far. Maybe high netting could solve the problem without blocking out too much light. Another issue there is regulatory as the fairgrounds already has a solar project at the Youth Park.

  5. Dayton Johnson says:

    To K Ree, hmmmm the last time i checked roof mounted systems were still 80.2cents. The groundmount systems are 64cents/kwh i could be wrong.

  6. Doris Lane says:

    Hear the council are getting ready for the “Good Roads Convention” to the tune of
    $4000 for a suite to entertain in.
    Since the council does not have money to throw away why would they throw it away for a convention no one needs. MOre money out the Bank of Shire Hall and while they are at it I hear they hired a Bag Tag supervisor to go around the county in a county truck with county gas and check to see if people are using bag tags.
    Come on council remember some of us wanted to STOP THE SPENDING

  7. Killashandra Ree says:

    Like your thinking Dayton, but two points need to be clarified. The County does not own the Regent Theatre. It is owned by the Regent Theatre Foundation, a non-profit company that is a Registered Charity. As such they are taxed at about 40% of regular commercial properties (normal is approx. 2% of appraised value). Income tax is collected by the Provincial and Federal government, not at the municipal level. Secondly those $.82 FIT contracts are now maxed at about 64 cents per KWH.

  8. Dayton Johnson says:

    Just wondering….Could the Regent Theatre follow the lead of some City of Belleville buildings and install roof mounted solar panels to generate income? at least enough to pay or supplement their heat bill.An estimated 7-8 year payback,yearly tax breaks,(do they pay income tax?)Solar companies are very price competitive right now,a 20yr. contract with the province at 80.2cents a kwh.Investing in the future as such would indicate the theatre is attempting to be more independent of the County coffers.I’m kind of surprised there hasn’t been more discussion about solar investment on other County owned buildings. Crystal Palace,, maybe,, but definately the Curling rink and Arena.Maybe the taxpayer would be less critical of this type of investment in Regent than a direct handout from Council to merely fill seats.It’s apparent here that “John Public” is tired of seeing their tax dollars being frittered away for the visions of a select few.Don’t get me wrong.. “Love the Regent” but board members,,show some inititive and think of a new approach.

  9. Killashandra Ree says:

    LInda, I agree that the volunteers that donate their time are good selfless folk. We can agree to disagree that the Regent is the “centre of the arts”for the County.

    The Regent has received various grants to improve the property. We’ve all read about them in the local papers. This money from council is not for renovations, they said so themselves…

    “we receive a grant from the County of $40,000 each year to offset our tax liability. We will be approaching Council for a grant for 2011 in the same amount plus an additional one time grant of $60,000 to get us through the renovation period”

    Seems a lot to pay for hydro & heat for 3 months, when they seemed to only need an extra $10,000 a few months ago. What is the rest, $50,000. really for?

  10. Doris Lane says:

    Linda how about a last name. The administrator requested that should be the case.
    The Regent picked a bad time to request money. The County has a 50 million dollar deficit and their reserve fund is low. They also own a lot of buildings which they have to keep up and it even costs them a lot of money to keep them plowed.
    Maybe the Regent needs to do some fire regulation stuff but it appears that some of the reno stuff could have waited. Also they should have figured into their budget the cost of being closed.

  11. Linda says:

    The Regent Theatre is a heritage property that is also an economical plus for the County, and other businesses in the County. It is managed and run by conscientious citizens who donate their time and energy to keep it running, to preserve the property – which is more than Council does – and to provide a centre for the arts. This is a one time only request for assistance in improving the property to enhance the experience of theatre goers who come from far and wide. In many other areas the municipalities own the properties, which should have been the case here years ago. Do we really want to see another “Royal Hotel” on Main Street?

  12. Killashandra Ree says:

    And next in line is the Regent Theatre. They’ve been getting $30,000 – $40,000 a year to help offset property taxes and this year they want more than double that – $100,000.

  13. Doris Lane says:

    Dayton you said it all so well. Thank you for your input.

  14. Dayton Johnson says:

    Doris, i read that reference awhile ago also and it was referring to exactly that…groups and organizations with empty pockets but good intentions.Unfortunately our previous Council could be easily swayed and made some promises of funding with little regard for the exploding budget. Then when it came crunch time and money was needed for a new sewage plant the municipal taxpayer was hit with increased water rates.Can a town family really cope with the flat rate? How much would would a household of four pay? Living rural i can flush as many times as i need to but you town folks are going to have to abide by that old saying..If it’s yellow let it mellow,,,if it’s brown flush it down! OR go to Timmys,buy a coffee and use the facilities.

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