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Friday, September 22, 2017

Lake Huron Learning Centre on Borrowed Time

Kincardine | by John Divinski  

Council has been asked to extend the lease on the building by another year.

The Lake Huron Learning Collaborative, located in the former Westario Building on Queen Street in Kincardine, could be on borrowed time at its present location.
During a Committee of the Whole meeting (WED, SEPT. 20), Learning Centre spokesperson and former mayor of Kincardine, Larry Kraemer asked council to extend its lease for a further year for $50,000.
The average expenses for operating the building by the municipality is around $54,000 annually for the past 2 years.
Kraemer pointed out the organization is not asking for any money from the town, as the collaborative inches toward what they hope will be sustainability.
Although councillors approved the ask, they also warned that a hard look at the future of the town-owned building needs to be investigated.
Councillor Mike Leggett, who says he supports the learning centre, says a year from now, after a municipal election, anything could happen.
He says, "Some point in time somebody's going to turn around and slaughter this building from the municipality and they're (the learning centre) is going to be left without a home."
Leggett says the one year rental extension gives the centre time to look around for perhaps a new location and it gives the municipality time to study the options it may want to pursue with the building.
Councillor Maureen Couture supports the recommendation.
However she says if council is serious about doing something else with the building, then they need to talk about it now--not a couple of months before the extended lease expires.
Staff will bring back a report to council on possible options for the building, in the future.
That report will come back to a future Kincardine council meeting.
The learning centre has been in operation since 2009 and at its current location since 2011.
The centre offers graduating students and adults classes in post-secondary studies and skills training.

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