Interested users sought for Kinsmen Building

·2 min read

The Kinsmen Building advisory panel took a step forward with the drafting of an expression of interest (EOI), which was to be distributed publicly on Friday.

The purpose of the EOI is to determine the direction of the Kinsmen Community Hall.

The panel discussed the EOI at a meeting on Wednesday at the Lou Jeffries Gananoque and TLTI Recreation Centre.

For interested parties, the panel is looking for the building, at 400 Stone Street North, to be used for community use and/or benefit. The preference is to have the building leased.

The panel has had presentations to discuss a community services hub model, the possible use of the building as a library and/or seniors' centre, to re-purpose the building as an affordable housing option, and a presentation was also delivered by Rob Adams, CEO of the YMCA of Eastern Ontario.

Submission deadline for the EOI for interested parties is July 6. The panel will then hold a meeting on July 11.

As well, it is expected the panel will ask for an extension to its term, which was to come to an end in August.

The Kinsmen Community Hall was formerly a day-care centre but now the building is home to the Thousand Islands Youth Boxing Club, which rents half the space.

The boxing club is currently paying $5 per square foot plus a CPI increase, or $18,648 per year. The rent includes all utilities.

Gananoque council recently extended the boxing club's lease for a portion of the Kinsmen Community Hall for another year.

The lease allows the town to provide 90 days' notice to end the lease under certain conditions.

In 2019, at the direction of council, staff issued an expression of interest for lease space at the Kinsmen building.

In July 2019, council approved a bylaw to enter into a lease agreement with the boxing club for a portion of the building. At the time, the long-term future of the facility was unknown. The agreement was for a one-year period at a rate of $5 per square foot, or $1,500 a month.

In 2020, council passed an amending lease agreement to extend the term of the lease to June 30, 2021 at the same rate, and last year council extended the term to June 30, 2022.

It has been estimated the building could be put on the market for approximately $480,000 based on MPAC's property assessment.

At the April 19 Gananoque council meeting, members decided not to proceed with procuring a geotechnical assessment/shoreline erosion study for the unstable slope identified at the building at an upset limit of $25,000.

(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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