Chief administrator Helen Collier presented city council with a detailed report, during its October 22 committee of the whole session, for a proposed Community Hub project. The proposal is a long-term plan for repurposing 11 municipal facilities to get the best and most efficient use out of them. Collier urged council to take advantage of a federal/provincial community facility improvement program to help finance the Community Hub project.
“It’s a large amount of money that the federal and provincial governments have put forward,” Collier said. “But this is a one-time funding opportunity, as we’ve been told.”
City administration recommended that council approve setting up a Community Hub reserve fund for collection of all revenues, including senior-level government grants, surplus proceeds from any municipal land sales or other sources of funds, and help manage financing for the long-term project.
The recommendation includes allocating $450,000 in the 2020 capital budget to “investigate the viability of the proposed facility rationalization” outlined in the administration report. Administration would also do an inventory review of municipal lands available for sale to provide revenue for the reserve fund.
Among the various municipal buildings and facilities listed in the Community Hub report, which could be repurposed for better use for the community, are the two existing municipal offices in Rockland and Clarence Creek, the Jean-Marc Lalonde Arena, the Chamberland community hall at Parc Simon and the park bandshell, the old Bourget fire hall, the Rockland Museum building on Laurier and several other facilities.
Administration will provide council, at a later date, with a detailed report on what is needed to refurbish all of these facilities, and bring them up to date with provincial standards.