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In January of this year an ad hoc group arranged a meeting at the Picton Town Hall to seek ideas for new uses of the building as a means of keeping it as a viable public space. The initial meeting attracted over 50 people, and the Working Group was given numerous ideas for new uses for the hall as well as a strong indication to maintain the present uses.
Since that time, members of the Working Group have been meeting bi-weekly to formulate a plan to keep the building as a public space. On Saturday afternoon, the group held a public meeting at the Town Hall to present its initial strategic plan and to solicit comments on the plan. The meeting was once again well attended, with 50 people present. There were a number of candidates for council in attendance, but the majority of people were current users of the hall.
The future of Picton Town Hall took another step forward as Save Picton Town Hall Working Group (SPTH) attracted a full house at Saturday’s public meeting to share plans and receive feedback.
Dubbed ‘A Hall for All’ by the SPTH working group, its hope is for the structure at 2 Ross St., Picton is to remain in public hands for community use.
SPTH working group member Bev Campbell introduced core SPTH members Duncan Moore, Sarah Moran, Leslie Smail-Persaud and Lynne Rochon. She also noted thanks to members not present, including Margaret Watson, Christine Renaud and Gilles Miramontes. She also thanked councillor Lenny Epstein who first hosted a community meeting last summer.
The Picton Town Hall is a bit of a conundrum. Nuzzled in on Ross Street, just behind Picton Main Street and directly in the centre of the town’s core, the heritage building is a valuable asset for the County.
The building itself has two purposes. The upper level is a community gathering space. Accessible by both stairs and elevator, the large room includes an attached kitchen and washrooms, tables and chairs, and is ideal for all sorts of community activities, from bridge club afternoons to community meals, from performances to actual town halls.
One of the latter will take place on Thursday, July 20 at 7 p.m. Picton councillor Lenny Epstein has invited the public to a town hall at the town hall to discuss the future of the town hall. Five days after that, council will decide whether to accept proposals from private businesses, not-for-profit organizations and the public about what to do with the hall.
The municipality issued a news release Wednesday inviting the community to submit expressions of interest for Picton Town Hall and former fire hall.
The release says with respect to the County’s strategic priorities, the municipality wants to identify the best use for the property. Located at 2 Ross Street, the hall was built in 1866 and is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.
The deadline for expressions of interest is Nov. 26, 2018 at 2 p.m.
The County’s Community Development Department is inviting proposals for ongoing use and operation of the current Picton Town Hall and former Picton Fire Hall.
Proposals are open for the downtown Picton property’s use, operation and ownership. The County’s application document states the overall value of the proposal will be considered in the context of the economic, cultural, social and environmental benefits to the community.
Leslie Smail-Persaud asked the attendees at the SPTH visioning session to answer the following question: If Picton town hall could be the best town hall you could imagine, what would it be? Epstein added that “blue sky thinking” was encouraged.
The resulting discussions were energetic and animated. In addition to the words being written on the paper-covered tables, the artists were sketching their vision of the ideas. Some of the ideas were a continuation of the historical uses of the hall, others were totally new, such as a health care hub, native plant nursery or a popup tea room. And a few ideas came from the rarefied air of the blue sky ...
The Save Picton Town Hall group hosted a well-attended community visioning session in advance of a likely request for proposals from County council that will ultimately decide of the gathering place and former fire hall.
The visioning session employed a handful of local artists (Tim Snyder, Marc Keelan-Bishop, Andrew Csafordi, Teresa Westervelt and Krista Dalby) to capture thoughts, ideas and concepts in an imaginative and artistic way that was later shared with the entire room and would provide the committee with ample fodder when developing their proposals.
Community members shared practical, bizarre and inspiring ideas to save Picton’s Town Hall during a community visioning gathering Sunday at the Ross Street, Picton location.
All ages filled the upper level of the hall to brainstorm on how the community structure could continue serving local residents and community groups for many years to come ...
The Save The Picton Town Hall working group is looking for public input on the future of the historic building downtown. On Sunday, Jan. 28, the group will hold a visioning session at the hall from 2-5 p.m.
Community members are asked to ponder a simple question: “If the Picton Town Hall could be the best town hall you could imagine, what would that look like?” and come prepared to discuss it that night.
Future uses for Picton Town Hall take shape at well-attended visioning session ... when over 50 impassioned users and concerned citizens packed the Picton Town Hall on Sunday afternoon
Some councillors may want to sell, but the hall won’t fill the hole.
Emotions were high last Tuesday evening as users of the Picton town hall flooded Shire Hall’s council chambers, spilling out into an adjacent boardroom where the meeting was being streamed live.
Most were out to support a group dubbed Save the Picton Town Hall, a collection of users and residents who would like to find a solution to keep the building in public hands. They were there to speak before council discussed a request for proposals that will determine the future of the municipal property.
Council amended its Committee of the Whole motion Tuesday night to include a six-month timeline to receive request for proposal purchase offers and alternative proposals for the old Picton fire hall and town hall.
Community Development Director Neil Carbone told council the intention of the initial recommendation was to solicit a lot of options and gage opportunities. Once the Request for Proposals is made – possibly over the next few months – the six month timeline for offers and proposals would begin.
Picton councillor Lenny Epstein held a meeting in the town hall to discuss its future. The packed room featured members of a variety of groups that regularly use the hall and residents from around the County.
County residents filled the gallery at Shire Hall Tuesday night to implore council to keep the Picton Town Hall as a community asset.
In the end, councillors approved a motion to be sent to council to list the former fire hall at 2 Ross St., for potential sale and receive requests for alternative proposals and options for future uses.
A special Committee of the Whole Meeting Tuesday, Sept. 19 will hear concerns about listing the former Picton Town Hall/Fire Hall for sale, and alternatives for its use.
The 2 Ross St., building is to be examined by council as part of an inventory of its vacant or unused municipal properties.
A committee of the whole report from June was deferred by council to Tuesday’s special meeting. Several public meetings have been held by citizens wanting to save the hall for public use.
For the second time, a group of concerned residents gathered to discuss the Picton town hall in the Picton town hall. The community space perched above the former firehall in Picton is about to be thrown into limbo as the County waits on a decision from council about what to do with the building.
Last month, a committee of council voted to open a process to sell the building or else find alternative proposals for its use that would give council an idea of the public’s interest. That decision saw a ratifying vote in a council meeting last night, after press time. A report about that meeting can be found online at wellingtontimes.ca.
The proposal prompted concerns among user groups and residents. Picton councillor Lenny Epstein held a town hall meeting at the town hall about its future on Thursday evening. About 80 people attended, and about a third of those were not residents of the town of Picton. They represented a variety of regular user groups of the hall, those with interest in improved usage of the hall and those who feel the building is an integral part of the community.
Read past the opening paragraphs to get to the meat.
JULY 19 – Picton councillor Lenny Epstein is hosting a town hall on the Picton Town Hall – at the Town Hall Thursday night at 7 p.m. He invites County residents to attend the open forum to discuss possible futures for the building, vacated in 2016 by its principle tenant – the fire department.
“My hope is to bring people together to explore the best community uses for this valuable public asset and to gauge constituent support for keeping an affordable, multi-purpose public assembly hall in the downtown core of Picton,” said Epstein in his Facebook event invitation.
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