Marine Museum

To my constituents and fellow supporters of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston:

I introduced an amendment on the new Council’s first voting meeting on December 16th.  It was an attempt to help the Marine Museum, which is threatened by eviction by the Federal Government.    It gives direction to City Staff to assist the Museum in any way possible, both with extending their lease and examining options to help it survive.  This motion passed.

At the same meeting, there was another motion to have the City look at actually buying the property where the Museum is located, from the Federal government.  Although the purchase price was reported to be $1, there was a hitch:  As the Feds are selling the property AS IS, and have refused to provide an offsetting grant to cover the costs, the City would be liable for the remediation of the property and other costs which were estimated by staff at 19 Million dollars.  Council understandably voted against this motion.

At the January 27th Council meeting, I introduced an amendment that adds a new dimension:  that of the protection offered as a National Park.  It passed 13-0:

  • That Council direct staff to strongly encourage that the federal Government designate the lands occupied by MMGLK as an Urban National Park, and further
  • That staff prepare recommendations of how the City of Kingston could assist the federal government with this designation, and report back to Council by June 2015.

Also at that Jan 27th meeting, the Mayor said something, that he repeated more recently on March 18th at the Sydenham District Association AGM:

“The City is willing to go most of the way, maybe even up to 75% of the way.  But we don’t have the capacity to go ALL the way.  We need the Federal Government to help out.”

Today, the Museum’s board seems much more optimistic:

http://www.thewhig.com/2015/03/18/marine-museum-gets-new-lease-on-life

One way that Council has decided to help is by designating the lands around the museum as a Brownfield.  Watch this short clip as I explain:

http://www.station14.ca/video.html?id=2001

I would like to thank all of you who have written to me on the matter.  Of course I will continue to advocate for the Museum, to work towards an acceptable solution that allows for its survival.  The artifacts and archives contained therein constitute a national treasure that needs to be preserved.

Peter Stroud, RN

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Here is an earlier article from the Whig-Standard:

http://www.thewhig.com/2015/03/01/public-works-issues-call-for-buyers

Here are two excellently written articles from Bill Hutchins, published in the online newspaper Kingston Region:

http://www.kingstonregion.com/news-story/5291998-purchase-deadline-looms-for-marine-museum-city-offers-different-support/

http://www.kingstonregion.com/news-story/5234539-council-refuses-to-throw-lifeline-to-struggling-marine-museum-citing-risky-business/

Here is the report Council received on December 16th, which explains the situation and contains the motion that was passed by the previous Council, on the same matter:

https://www.cityofkingston.ca/documents/10180/7589760/COU_A0315-15024.pdf/e6aa0b00-a818-4eae-86b3-0e3e969c0756