"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

We Are Saving

….a rotting structure. The Petch House, has been perched on cement blocks on the east side of Leslie just south of Wellington for five years or more. It is to be saved. It has no historical significance. It was moved to its present location by a developer at the town's request. They will move it again for us at their expense when we find a place for it. The cost for that of course will be tacked on to the price of a property somewhere.

Money doesn't grow on trees.

We have not been able to find anyone with a use for the four hundred and fifty square feet shack. and not for the want of trying. We offered it to The Arboretum a couple of years ago but they opted to buy a prefabricated tool shed with $50 thousand smackeroos of the money we gave them to plant an Arboretum. That money came out of the interest from the Hydro fund.

So there the shack has sat, sad and dilapidated with rain pouring in the roof for five years or more. It lost its torn insulbrick cladding at some point. The rot is plainly visible in the corners and the bottom edges. But nothing daunted, if it can be moved without cutting down trees, the Simcoe Conservation Authority will allow it to be situated in Sheppard's Bush. It will make a matched pair with the shack we moved from McMahon Park a couple of decades ago. I'm not sure they ever found a sensible use for that one either.
We have $100,000 in the Capital budget to "restore" building to use when it finds a new home. All 450 square feet of it.

We are saving another $12,000 in the capital budget as well.

The meeting rooms at the library are heavily used for town programs of all kinds. Summer playground kids cavort in there. They tend to be messy. Yoga classes are held there too. Practitioners do their thing on the floor. They pay a fee to do that. They complain about the bad smell. The carpets can no longer be cleaned properly and they are coming apart at the seams.

Staff recommends replacing the stained and smelly floor covering with carpet tile squares. It's long-lasting and easy to lay. It can be replaced in squares if necessary. There are areas in every carpet that bear heavier traffic than others. Using tiles means the flooring in a whole room doesn't have to be replaced at one time.

Estimated cost for the two rooms - $12,000. But we are not going to spend it. Oh Dearie Me No. We must find places to save, don't you know - so that we can spend $100,000 on a rotting crumbling shack with no historical significance.

It is a "unique" structure, don't you know. I don't know how they know that. I doubt there are many municipalities in Ontario who can afford the luxury of a heritage expert on the payroll. I think there could be dozens maybe hundreds of gems of uniqueness slumbering undiscovered all over Ontario under layers of tar paper and Insulbrick and maybe even underbrush. In small places where they may not even have a library, let alone rooms for Playgroups and yoga classes that need clean carpets.

Bless their hearts, they are probably completely unaware of their unique wealth, in comparison to places like Markham, Oakville and Aurora.



Anonymous said...

For someone who loves the "good old days", you seem to have a real bug-bear for anything "heritage".

Anonymous said...

Somehow, even if this pathetic piece of nostalgia were to find a home, I am certain our ever thinking brilliant mayor would find some bylaw, that would interfer with the placement of this old shack. Look what she did with the new Shoppers Drug Mart at Yonge and Edward, still no sign on Edward Street, when she went touring around the town to see what she could find wrong, she then picked on the new businesses at the Wal-Mart plaza, for having banners and no signs. You get signs when the project is complete. This mayor is as pathetic as this old shack is.

Sorry Ev, this mayor and this shack have one thing in common,neither of them are of any use to us!