This could be the way it will be! Last year local cinephile Ken Prue produced this image of the future, the way he saw it. A renovated Park Theatre – a cultural centre that would anchor the East end of King St. In this report on the “CobourgNews” website Ken was speaking as a member of the group that wanted to renovate the site. Many reasons are given and everyone of them is valid today.
In a move that was expected Cobourg Council, on Monday night, voted to recommend to the full Council that the Town purchase the facility for $500K, lend the organising group (yet to be named officially) and set aside $25K for closing costs. An expenditure of $600K to be funded from the Northam Industrial reserve. A fantastic move and one that we heartily endorse.
Of course there are critics – local curmudgeons, taxfighters and Councillor MacCarthy. She says that without more information she cannot support the proposal. Perhaps she will expand her views on Monday when she has to vote again but it appears that her concerns are valid but do not stand up in the light. This proposal will not cost taxpayers tax money (the Northam Reserve has never been used to offset tax bills) so it sits there to be used for purposes like this. Just remember that Cobourg contributed millions to the hospital, over the years, using similar funding arrangements from the LUSI dividend. The one thing that critics are forgetting is that the purchase price is probably the land value so even if the Town just sits on the land it is ahead of the game. Knowing the passion of the proponents and the organisational zeal that some will provide raising money should not be a problem. We know that we do not want Carol Farren chasing us every year for money – so get on the funding wagon folks.
Using this proposal as an example it behooves us to point out – yet again, what a resource the “playmoney” funds can be to Cobourgers. We have $1.25million a year in revenue from the Town’s assets – LUSI and Northam. We should be taking some of that money and establishing an endowment fund – a “CommunityChest” to fund ideas like this. Not only would we than have a mechanism to fund community groups but funding them from this source would reduce taxes.