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Former AUPS site remains in political deadlock

Posted August 27, 2019

A security fence around the perimeter of the vacant former Alliston Union Public School building will remain as the only decision New Tecumseth councillors could agree on as to moving forward on interim office space solutions.

Councillors were dealing with two separate reports last night delayed from last month. The first was linked to securing the building and protecting the inner shell with fencing, electrical, renting industrial space heaters, connections, and ongoing maintenance at an approximate cost of $240,000 in the first year.

Deputy Mayor Richard Norcross said he could support the fencing, but opposed heating and lighting the building. He suggested instead the building should be demolished, and the property sold as vacant land including the demolition cost in the price and planning for a new administration centre should switch focus to the New Tecumseth Recreation Centre (NTRC) property.

While councillors agreed on only fencing the building, a 5-5 vote defeated any other action including the deputy mayor's recommendations.

The second report dealt with an interim office space solution that would have involved a lease takeover of a 3,600 sq. ft office trailer Simcoe County is currently using on site at its Emergency Services Campus on Fairview Road in Barrie, and moving it to the AUPS site for five years.

Council again voted 5-5 that left that option. In both instances the votes fell the same way as they have since this new term of council took over the administration centre project leftover from the previous council. In favour of the AUPS site remain Mayor Rick Milne, and councillors Wayne Noye, Fran Sainsbury, Donna Jebb, and Shira Harrison McIntyre. On the other side are Deputy Mayor Richard Norcross, and councillors Michael Beattie, Paul Foster, Stephanie MacLellan, and Allan Lacey.

Last spring councillors voted to set the project aside until the provincial government presents results of its regional government review expected to be released in November.

All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri