No Further Discussions with Kawartha Pine Ridge

 

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No further discussions with Kawartha Pine Ridge

 

April 28, 2017

 

BY TERY GILLIS

 

 

At the Tuesday night Selwyn Council meeting, Lakefield resident and business owner Dick Crawford appeared as a delegate, accompanied by several community members, to implore Council to “pursue direct discussions with the school board to cause the building to be repurposed for community needs and that the demolition be put on hold for one year.”

Initially, Mr. Crawford sent a letter to Council requesting a delegation in order to propose that Council “use their power to issue a court injunction to issue a stay in the demolishing the building,” however, during his ten minute delegation, Mr. Crawford stated that after communications with several lawyers, including the Municipality’s lawyer, who informed him that it would be difficult for the township to do so.

Mr. Crawford also considered asking the Township to delay the issuance of a demolition permit. Lawyers advised Mr. Crawford that the Township does not have the right to delay or deny the KPR (Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board) a permit.

Rob Lamarre, Manager of Building and Planning explained that as long as the Township receives a completed application, they are mandated by legislation to issue the demolition permit.

Following Mr. Crawford’s presentation, Angela Chittick, Manager of Community & Corporate Services/Clerk read a letter received by Julie Chatten, Chair of  the Ridpath and LDIS School Board. Ms. Chatten commented on the affects a one year delay would have on the students and further add to the stress the students and teachers are already dealing with.

Deputy Mayor Senis said that throughout the entire Accommodation Review Process and now the demolition of the intermediate school, it has been difficult on the students, and like KPR, the community and the LDISS is Open Committee have been emphasizing over these past months, the students should always be the top priority. And with that in mind, the issue should be put to rest. She told Mr. Crawford that the Township and the community pulled together to save the building. It’s now over. She told Mr. Crawford that, “that ship has sailed. It’s time to put this to rest. Our time will be better spent looking at uses for Ridpath when it’s empty”.

Councillor Ballantyne told Mr. Crawford that “Council did direct staff to send a letter to KPR requesting an extension.” At that time, KPR explained the cost of keeping the vacant building standing and Donna told Mr. Crawford that the Township doesn’t have the money to sustain the empty space.

After discussing the “net plus” to the township and the board, should a suitable tenant/s be found, Mr. Crawford said that “the main problem with the process is lack of communication.” All we’re asking for, he told Council, was time to do proper planning.

Councillor Locke recited an email she had received earlier in the day from a resident which she did not name. The resident wanted to know where Mr. Crawford and his group of concerned citizens were two months ago when the community was making their case to KPR.

Mr. Crawford replied that he “suffered from not getting the information” and stated that he had two businesses to run.

Councillor Herron commented that he thought the best approach was to accept the board’s decision. “It’s time to heal and move on. I think it’s done.”

Council received Mr. Crawford’s delegation for information.