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Deadline looms for stimulus funding

Deadline looms for stimulus funding

Council to hold special meeting Thursday

Posted By Brandon Walker, The Daily Press

Talk about being put under the gun.

Officials with the City of Timmins have been left scrambling to come up with shovel-ready projects for which they can receive government dollars through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.

The aim is to get projects going in the next two years, but municipalities only have until May 1 to pitch projects.

City staff proposed building an Integrated Centre of Excellence for Emergency Services at Northern College with a cost of $2 million paid by the city; updating kitchen and laundry facilities at the Golden Manor at $2.5 million total; and four different ideas of where the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre could end up.

Museum curator/director Karen Bachmann spoke about the need to preserve the city’s artifacts, some of which are 5,000 years old, and others worth more than $100,000.

“The reason I’m pushing for protection is, that’s the core central focal point,” she said. “It’s how we teach our kids about what’s going to happen in the future.

“It has been in a building that has had severe water damage, some pieces became encased in ice, some subjected to extreme humidity levels, then it was moved to the Whitney Arena where it isn’t climate controlled.”

Councillors spent much of last night’s meeting debating where the museum should reside.

City staff listed four sites, from most probable to least: The Shania Twain Centre, a portion of the OLS building, build a portion on the McIntyre site (phased in), or build the whole thing on the Mac site.

Mayor Tom Laughren worried this would pull the city away from partnerships created in the community, in particular with the Timmins Symphony Orchestra.

The original museum proposal was set to include space for the TSO.

“I do believe we’re a little premature,” he said.

“If we move ahead with any of these options, I believe we may kick ourselves down the road.

“There’s definately more work that needs to be done.”

After much debate, it was decided a consensus couldn’t be reached about the museum, but councillors seemed to agree on the other projects.

The city plans to contact Diamond and Schmitt Architects, who did the last museum study, to attend council to discuss locations as soon as possible.

A special council meeting has been called for Thursday at noon to decide what the third project should be.


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