At least they haven't bought Hallmark - yet.
Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 1 May 2016 at 08:24
THe Hallmark Warehouse property was for sale. My impression,original asking price was seventeen million. At the time, the town was contemplating a decision on the Joint facility, original estimate thirteen million, swollen by then to eighteen million and now actually, I believe,twenty-six million.
About the same time, a ten year lease on town-owned property to the Department of National Defense for minimal use by Queen's York Rangers was extended to thirty years. With the town as landlord responsible for maintenance.
The property has an architect -designed office building, landscaped frontage, vehicle storage and works sheds and a five acre yard surrounded by an electrified fence. The office space was under-utilised with archives from Corporate Services division. The yard was used in part for heritage salvage. A dis-mantled barn was stored there . It was transported to the over- crowded town works yard, took up space and rotted there for a while.
The greater part of the facility was being used by the parks department. A beautiful gazebo was built there in the winter they had workshop space.
Residents were so impressed, they asked how much did that thing cost? I was very glad to tell say;
" the men in your parks department built it for your enjoyment.They build other things as well to our own specifications which would otherwise be beyond our means"
The parks department were booted from the facility to make room for QYR .
Shortly after, QYR held a fund-raising dinner, flush with dignitaries ,including the Queen's son but not heir, Prince Andrew. Tickets, I believe were $125. PIctures of Councillors showed them chatting informally with the August Personage.
Word was funds were to provide resplendent dress uniforms for officers. The word changed
to care packages for forces in Afghanistan and aid to families of same.
Council was so impressed with prestige brought to the town with a dinner held in Richmond Hill,
the lease for our building to the DND was extended to thirty years.
Within the same Council term,the town accepted the large rusty key for the contaminated shack, redundant to the federal government, for just a smidgeon more than half a million dollars.
DND no longer needed it because they now had a thirty year lease on a town building for their purposes.
Actually, I was privately informed ,the federal government had no use for a building.Their plan
was to discontinue the QYR program.
What the town did at expense of home and business owners, was save Queen's York Rangers from being assigned to heritage archives. The Feds were obviously looking for ways to save,
Was that not a noble endeavor ln our part? Downright heroic,wouldn't you say?
Why, I wonder, is it not been offered as the start of a list of accomplishments from someone who
sees it as a decision of merit..... who believes the town is well served by taking on debt and spending twenty-six million dollars on a joint facility for parks and works department while surrendering a needed facility to the Department of National Defense.
Also BTW ,selling the existing works and parks properties privately, disregarding provincial regulations once again.
BUT I digressed.
Hallmark warehouse and acreage were for sale at the same time as the town was deciding
on the joint facility. Asking price was seventeen million. I believe it sold for eleven and a half million.
The acreage was promptly offered for sale separately. I understand the town bought it for eleven and a half million.
Aurora Soccer Club, a multi-million private commercial operation, is now requesting the town lease the warehouse facility for their purpose.
My guess would be, Sport Aurora is lobbying also for that request/demand.
Why would they not?
Have we not dubbed ourselves Sports Capital of the Universe while doubling as Culture Capital of the same precinct.
Oh ! How much good can be accomplished , by so few, in so little time.
Let me count the ways.
It is to weep, my friends.
The cadets had their annual passing out parade in Newmarket last week.