Posted October 24, 2013
It all came to a head when city council was deadlocked over whether to demolish the derelict Wilson Farmhouse sitting in a city park.
Coun. Ian Findlay, who voted against demolishment the house, is quoted as saying: “The Wilson farmhouse park be confirmed as a park in its entirety, is exactly my position.”
Ian, Ian, some clarity here. Are you saying the park should be a park without the dump that’s sitting on it? Or spend an estimated $500,000 to convert this over-hyped heritage site with a footprint of only 820 square feet into a community centre?
The Wilson farmhouse project’s business plan, published in Coun. Findlay’s blog is an amateurish, convoluted document that wouldn’t stand five minutes scrutiny by a junior financial manager.
Yet the costs of extensive renovations to convert the house into a hallmark of green technology, are not stated.
It is the objective of this administration to promote causes dear to its heart – environmental issues, senior services, heritage, wellbeing, childcare, anything green or self serving.
Further the renovation project claims to create four jobs, with a payroll of $170,000 and facilitate $1,00,000,000 in economic activity annually. The income statement shows revenue from renting space and estimated sales for a café and kitchen with total income of $107,000.
This is what Coun. Ian Findlay voted for revealing his close ties with the Guelph Civic League.
Not even Mayor Farbridge fell for this one as she voted to tear the building down. Nor did the city staff that recommended it should be demolished.
Taxpayers should be wary of a scheme to preserve the house when the supportive statement for retention that says: “At minimal dollar cost to taxpayers, using limited city “in kind” service support and financing.”
The proposal is believed to have been prepared by the subsidiary of the Guelph Civic League known as 10 Carden Street. This is a taxpayer funded “community” activist group.
The Civic League played a role in the 2007 decision by the newly elected Farbridge-dominated council to renovate the Loretto Convent. It was a derelict and crumbling structure vacant for more than ten years. It took more than three years to convert it into a new civic museum. That excursion into preservation of privately held property ended up costing the taxpayers $16 million plus.
Or, how about the indoor soccer dome project where the city taxpayers guaranteed payment of the mortgage of $500,000 because the citizen operating group said it can no longer make the payments.. The soccer group in charge of the project complained that people don’t like to play soccer in the winter. Who knew?
The Civic League adherents are in the same outfit that pushed the city into renovating the Farmer’s Market. and that exercise cost $500,000 following a staff budget of $176,000.
This group fails to understanding that this city can no longer waste money on projects that the majority of people don’t want and never asked for.
Unlike the Civic League that represents people with a social leftist agenda, GrassRoots Guelph is an organization that is non-partisan and open to any citizen who share the view that taxes are too high, waste management is a failure, taxing of student lodging in single family areas and excessive spending.
The Wilson issue will be brought up again in council. It’s time to get serious and do the right thing. Tear it down.
Continuing to vote to restore the house presents political peril for those councillors who vote that way.
If the vote don’t fit, you have to quit…or something like that