Letter: Central Manitoulin constituents: Let your voice be heard!

Dear Editor:

Having voted to demolish the old Mindemoya school building, Central Manitoulin Council seems to have made this decision based on two main factors: 1) finance, and 2) public opinion. 

Addressing the issue of finance, it should be known that demolition of the building is estimated in the engineer’s report to council to be in the neighbourhood of $150,000. That money has already been set aside by council. Alternatively, putting a new roof on the building for about $35,000 plus paying hydro and insurance, currently at a cost of $1,600 per year, would cost the council about $51,000 to keep the building as-is for another 10 years, in hopes of finding a suitable repurposing plan for it. In other words, it will cost taxpayers about $100,000 more to destroy the old school than to keep it with options open for 10 more years.

As for public opinion, readers, that is up to you. The council has stated that there are more taxpayers and concerned citizens who would rather see the building removed than to keep it. If this issue means anything to you, please write or email Central Manitoulin Council and express your concern. Whether you are for or against demolition, they have to know, and must be willing to act on your collective wishes. Right now, the councillors who voted for destruction have stated that they have had many more people say that demolition is the way to go. I’m not sure that those who gave them that opinion were completely aware of the financial facts. Or, perhaps they had no interest in the historical and cultural value the old building represents. In any case, it is up to the constituents of Central Manitoulin municipality to let your voice be heard. The email contacts for councillors, taken from the Central Manitoulin Township webpage, are below. A simple “I am for/against saving the old Mindemoya school building” would be enough to indicate your stand. 

Your opinion counts! Please take the time to let them know how you feel. And please, no harassing comments to these councillors who are doing their best to fairly represent you and their/our municipality.

Mayor R. Stephens: cmreeve@eastlink.ca,

Councillor A. Johnson: cm.councillor.johnston@gmail.com,

Councillor D. Stevens: bowhunterderek@hotmail.com,

Councillor D. Scott: wmdalesott@hotmail.com,

Councillor S. Shaffer: shaffer@amtelecom.net,

Councillor A. Tribinivicius: algitrib@gmail.com,

Councillor R. Diebolt: rjdiebolt@hotmail.com

Jim Smith