Majority of council in favour of delaying preparation of Old School demolition

The Mindemoya Old School sits vacant.

MINDEMOYA – While Central Manitoulin municipal council is putting off the request for staff to prepare the request for proposal (RFP) documents for the demolition of the Mindemoya Old School until March, it doesn’t mean the RFP will not be prepared after the March meeting. 

“This is an issue that has gone on for a long time,” said Councillor Derek Stephens. “We have groups studying the potential use for the building, then this is cancelled, and another group does the same. And it is postponed. This has been going on for the last 10 years.” 

“I’m a little upset we are not going to proceed with preparing the RFP. September will come along and we might have some kind of a proposal,” said Councillor Stephens. “And the RFP documents (for demolition of the building) will be put off for another year.”
“I have no problem with talks being held with the Friends of the Mindemoya Old School, but I don’t know why it stops council from starting the work that has already begun,” continued Councillor Stephens. “It doesn’t mean we can’t have the RFP prepared, and for instance it will outline any contaminants there are in the ground (under the building) that we all will want to know if the building is going to be demolished or transferred.” 

Councillor Angela Johnston explained, “we are going to wait to discuss the issues with the ‘Friends of’ group and then put the (RFP) motion back on council’s agenda at our March meeting.”

“It is put off just until next month’s council meeting,” said Mayor Richard Stephens. 

Councilor Dale Scott said he was in favour with what Councillor Johnston had said. “A memo came out on the afternoon prior to our last property committee meeting (from municipal staff) and we didn’t have time to go through all of it. I like the idea of waiting until March for more discussion to take place and we will have more information from staff and our engineers at that time.” 

Council considered the recommendation from the property committee that the municipality postpone issuing RFP documents for the demolition of the Mindemoya Old School until at least September 2021, and that staff postpone any further work on preparation of these RFP documents until discussion occurs at the March 9 property committee meeting, and that staff are directed to communicate with the Friends of the Mindemoya Old School (FOTMOS) group to consider options for leasing or transferring ownership to the (FOTMOS) group.”

“I am still opposed to this,” stated Concillor Stephens, prior to the rest of council voting in favour of passing the motion, which was carried.