Council hears both sides of new administation building arguments

·2 min read

Opposing groups had the opportunity to express their opinions regarding the planned new Town of New Tecumseth Administration Centre during Council meeting on Monday, March 29.

Some local residents believe the new Administration Centre is a forward thinking move that is well planned, while other residents have the opinion that it is too costly and the money could best be spent on other projects in the town.

Local resident, Orland Kirkness, who represents a 'core group of taxpayer citizens,' said they are in favour of building the new Centre at Town owned property at 25 Albert Street West.

Mr. Kirkness referenced his own trips to Europe where he observed “big and open spacious town squares, where people interacted in the cities and towns.”

He went on to say “We have that opportunity to create the beginning of a wonderful town square here. The one of a kind Gibson Centre will now have a companion with our exciting new Town Hall. The spaciousness of the area will automatically bring people together (with) proper parking for weekly farmer's markets and annual festivals and other special events for the area.”

He also cited the fact that a new library may one day be built on the site adjacent to the Administration Centre.

Mr. Kirkness noted that there has been 'fierce debating at all aspects of the pros and cons' with a democratic vibration.

He also mentioned that Alliston has been designated as a growth area in Simcoe County with an expected population increase.

Following Mr. Kirkness' presentation, Council heard from Joe Feiner, spokesperson for the New Tecumseth Peaceful Warriors.

The Peaceful Warriors are a group organized through Facebook and they have started a petition calling for the New Administration Centre to be put on hold and the funds directed to other projects in the Town.

Mr. Feiner referenced that fact that 'about ten years ago' the Council at the time hired consultants to study the feasibility of building a new Administration Centre.

The consultants, Mr. Feiner said, reported “we have enough infrastructure within the Township to house all the administration needs that this Township needs.”

He also quoted an architect who worked on the project and said “With the COVID experience, these are unpredictable and volatile times to be building.”

Mr. Feiner questioned if this is the right time to build a new Administration Centre especially since there are currently only 30 people working in the current Administration building with around100 Town workers laid off.

The Peaceful Warriors have asked residents opposed to the new facility to sign a petition against it.

Mr. Feiner said that as of March 29, they had obtained 733 signatures from local residents.

Council voted to receive the deputations from both speakers.

Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times