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'Without municipal support, (GCC) may slip away'to the editor,
Posted January 28, 2013
As a former long time Board member of the Gibson Centre, I would like to try to understand The Town of New Tecumseth position on the Gibson Centre.
The Town has approximately $1.7 million invested in the building and has been supportive of fund raising campaigns that have raised over $2 million. It is a public building, yet there is very little municipal support.
The Gibson family was the driving force that turned an obsolete eyesore into what you see today. Members of the Gibson family hold the mortgage on the building, they do not own it. Most of the money owing on the mortgage is from construction costs.
The building is owned by a not-for-profit corporation, The Gibson Centre for Community Arts and Culture.
The Gibson Centre gets a grand from the Town each year for $25,000, but after paying municipal taxes it nets out at about $13,000.
In my opinion, it would be like building the recreation centre and then saying to the hockey and all user groups, 'now it is up you to pay the mortgage and staff the building.' I don't think it would work. That is exactly what they have said to the Gibson Centre Board. There has been very little municipal support since the opening on July 1, 2007.
The building is a historic and architectural gem. It should be the centre piece for the renewal and revitalization of the downtown core. Yet without municipal support, it may slip away.
I have nothing against arenas, but lets have a little balance.