Central moves to close Mindemoya hard-to-heat ‘Old School’ building

Mindemoya Old School

CENTRAL MANITOULIN—The Central Manitoulin town council passed a motion at their August 11 meeting to close the building known as the Mindemoya Old School at the end of October 2016. The motion, moved by Councillor Alex Baran and seconded by Councillor Derek Stephens, passed unopposed.

“Are we planning on heating the building in any way over the winter?” inquired Councillor Ted Taylor, who pointed out the building contains plaster and lathe wall construction. “It is going to deteriorate pretty badly if there is no heat.”

“The general idea when we were closing it was to save costs,” said Mayor Richard Stephens.

“We will close it up, seal it up and not be spending money on heating,” said Councillor Dale Scott. “I am not sure how much damage it will do. I assume we will be winterizing it like you would do with a cottage. The other option was to spend $10,000 to heat it.”

“That $10,000 was just to fix the heating system,” rejoined Councillor Stephens. “We put it out to a public meeting for a plan to keep it—we never got one.”

“I think that we should anticipate having discussions on the future of that building in our budget deliberations for 2017,” said Councillor Patricia MacDonald.

“Perhaps a public meeting to put it on the line,” added Mayor Stephens.

“It is old plaster and lathe, it will deteriorate badly without a minimum of heat,” cautioned Councillor Taylor.

Councillor MacDonald said that she hoped that the extension of the closing date would provide the tenant with enough time to find alternate accommodations, to nods of general agreement around the table.

“Originally the town gave me until September 1 to vacate, but I asked to stay into October for a few reasons,” said lawyer Janelle Proulx, the last remaining tenant in the building. “Luckily they have approved my request, so I am thankful for that. I bought a house in Mindemoya in June and I am converting it into office space. This involves quite a few renovations, along with getting it rezoned. This is also my busiest time of year for my business. With all of this going on I knew I couldn’t possibly move by the end of the month. Once I have completely moved, I will be notifying all of my current and past clients of my new address so they know where their files are kept and where to find me.”