Brockton mayor to make notice of motion regarding contentious Southampton rectory property

·2 min read

BRUCE COUNTY – Brockton Mayor Chris Peabody will be making a notice of motion at the county level regarding a contentious piece of property, in light of a “minor legal setback” published in the newsletter of the Southampton Cultural Heritage Conservancy.

The group’s website states that the conservancy “has committed to ensuring that the Krug trust for ‘the archives building for the storage and display of the archives of the county, in memory of Bruce and Howard Krug’ is used by the County in the manner Mr. Krug instructed in his will.”

The website indicates the former Anglican Rectory, designed and built in 1893-94, and purchased by the county in 2018 with Krug Trust Fund money, is in danger of demolition. The conservancy group took the matter to the courts in an effort to save the building.

The recent court decision in the matter of Robinson v. The Corporation of the County of Bruce denied the county costs it had been seeking.

It’s the most recent in a series of court actions. The conservancy alleged the county had breached the terms of a charitable trust; the county commenced an action seeking court approval of its actions under the trust.

These resulted, in addition to court action, in two closed meeting investigations, with reports dated Dec. 2, 2019 and July 9, 2020. As a result, agendas, minutes and reports from the meetings were released, “rendering the applicants’ appeal … moot,” according to the Nov. 3 court decision.

Peabody made a statement in which he commented on the Court of Appeal’s “citing the county’s lack of transparency in closed meetings….” He said he’d like to find a way to resolve the issue without further litigation.

His motion will be to sever the property, with the lot retained by the county for expansion of the archives, and the rectory building sold.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times