| Feb 03, 2005

Feature Article Feb 3 2005

Feature article February 3, 2005

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Barrie residents to form their own Hall committee

by Jeff Green

It seems that the future of the township halls in North Frontenac is a touchy subject.

North Frontenac Councillor Bud Clayton has taken on the job of establishing a task force to consider the future of the five township halls in the township. In his attempt to find representatives for the task force from each community, latent fears about the townships intentions has led dozens of people to show up for unadvertised meetings.

In Cloyne, 42 people showed up for a meeting, primarily because, according to Jane Muston of Cloyne Home Hardware, word of mouth had spread that the township is looking at closing the halls.

Where this rumour started is unclear, although Mayor Maguire had speculated last spring about how dearly it will cost the township to bring the halls up to standard and in compliance with new Provincial water regulations.


Nothing was stated at the meeting in Cloyne about the intentions of Council. Bud Clayton, who was the only Councillor in attendance, does not have a mandate from Council to consider whether halls should be closed. Nonetheless the local community has mobilized to make sure that at least the Barrie Hall is protected from any talk of closure.

A letter to the township has been prepared and is available for signing at Cloyne Home Hardware, Cloyne Village Foods, and Sniders Service Centre. In the past week, dozens of people have signed it.

Saying it is concerned about the possible closing of the Barrie Hall, the letter goes on to describe the hall as an integral part of our rural community, outlining its use as a gathering place and the locale of a highly utilised branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library.

Please consider the negative impact on the community the closure of the Barrie Hall would create before any decisions are made, the letter concluded.

A citizens committee has been established in the Cloyne area, and this group is looking for information from the township and the province.

We would like to know about the costs of running the hall, said Jane Muston, What is the phone bill? What is the Hydro bill? What are the heating costs? We are asking these questions of the township. We also want to know from the province what is going to happen with their water regulations. What will they cost the Barrie Hall?

Water Regulation 170/03, as it applies to township halls, churches and businesses, is currently under review by the Ministry of the Environment. A revised regulation has been promised by Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky.

Until the beginning of this year, the Barrie Hall was managed by the Cloyne Recreation Association, who completed a major kitchen upgrade last year. $10,000 for the upgrade came from the Barrie Recreation Reserve fund. The Association raised about $2,500 and did much of the renovation work in the kitchen themselves.

This past fall, the executive of the Cloyne Recreation Association announced that they intended to resign and sought new members in order to maintain the Association. No one came forward and the Cloyne Recreation Association disbanded, leaving management of the Barrie Hall in the hands of the township of North Frontenac as of January 1/ 2005.

Concerns about the future of the Barrie Hall have reached Barrie Councillors Cybulski and Hook. At the most recent North Frontenac Council meeting, Cybulski made the following statement: Ive received far too many phone calls in the past couple of days. I want everyone to know there are no plans to close township halls.

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