Gananoque rejects study of Kinsmen building slope

·2 min read

Gananoque town council has decided not to proceed with procuring a geotechnical assessment/shoreline erosion study for the unstable slope identified at the Kinsmen Community Hall.

However, council did approve, in principle, the direction of the Kinsmen Building Advisory Panel to proceed with exploring the option of maintaining the building for municipal use/non-municipal use or a hybrid thereof.

Council also passed a bylaw extending the term of the Kinsmen Building Advisory Panel for an additional three months to Aug. 1. The panel's term was scheduled to end on May 1.

The Kinsmen Building Advisory Panel has met three times since its inception and was expected to meet for a fourth time on Wednesday.

The panel members have completed an orientation of the building's history, reviewed studies and reports, and explored four options – demolish and repurpose, sell and reinvest, lease municipal use, and lease non-municipal use.

During the discussion of options, it was learned that the shoreline area at the Stone Street North site is identified as an "unstable slope."

The unstable slope is located at the northwest corner of the existing building. There is also a drop in the foundation slab in this same location.

It is unknown if this drop is related to the settling of earth after the building was constructed, or if the slab has progressively dropped over time. Discussions with previous owners/users, suggests the former.

In addition, erosion of the shoreline is a concern.

In order to determine the exact erosion rate and long-term slope stability for this shoreline, council heard that it would need to be determined by a site-specific geotechnical assessment.

The advisory panel recommended to council that this be conducted to come up with a better understanding of the current state and to develop a plan to stabilize the shoreline and protect the building, if needed.

The panel has also discussed the four options and wishes to proceed with exploring municipal use/non-municipal use or a hybrid thereof.

This will result in the panel focusing its attention on inviting groups such as the YMCA, Senior’s Association, Library, etc. to discuss such matters as capital and operating costs, user fees, uses, and timelines.

The advisory panel's ask for a three-month extension to Aug. 1 is to complete further work including inviting interested groups to present proposals for the use of the building, and conducting public consultation.

(Keith Dempsey is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)

Keith Dempsey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times

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