Cobourg Council Recommends Lease for Fire Fighters Museum

In City Hall

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Cobourg council has passed a motion at its February meeting authorizing staff to execute a lease for the Canadian Fire Fighters Museum to assume the old Cobourg Memorial Arena, pending a final legal review.

It would be a 20-year lease in which the town maintains the building envelope and extends a deal on rental for its first four years – with rent to be forgiven the first two and deferred the second two (with that amount amortized over the remaining life of the lease).

A museum representative conveyed the group’s enthusiasm for the location to council, noting that this particular location gives them scope to expand beyond the mere exhibition of their amazing collection into programming and activities for young people.

“There will be economic spin-off, especially for those providers of food, fuel and lodging,” she added.

The concession on rent is necessary, she continued, given the costs involved in preparing the site. The recent quote they received for a couple of bathrooms and the shaft for an elevator, for instance, was $155,000.

“I don’t think I can stress enough how excited this council is for this project,” Mayor Lucas Cleveland commented.

Asked for his estimate of how much rent the town would be foregoing with this arrangement, Director of Community Services Brian Geerts shared his figures and determined that four years’ rent would be $72,800. He also pointed out that only two years of rent would be waived.

“There is the possibility no rent would be received in the first four years, or the possibility that it’s sitting empty another four years,” Councillor Brian Darling pointed out.

“This has been in the works about four years,” Councillor Adam Bureau said.

“I think this building is going to be amazing when it’s finished.”

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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