Ward 10 resident, and City Hall watchdog, Viv Saunders emailed City Hall this week noting the City's request to the federal government's Canada 150 fund for $273,000 to fix up Auchmar comes with conditions.
Below is the full email exchange forward by Saunders to local media and Joey Coleman
(Note: Saunders is sending emails on behalf of the Lakewood Beach Community Council):
From: Lakewood Beach Community Council Sent: March-03-17 1:46 PM
To: DL-Council Only
Subject: Auchmar Garden Walls
We're going on memory here, but we believe that once Council agrees to spend Canada 150 Infrastructure funds on Auchmar, the city will not be able to lease or sell that property within a certain time frame, unless the fed government is repaid their contribution to the wall.
Might want to look into the rules on Canada 150 funds further; unless there are absolutely no plans to lease out /sell? Lakewood Beach Community Council
Pearson responds minutes later:
From: Pearson, Maria Maria.Pearson@hamilton.ca Sent: March 3, 2017 1:53 PM
To: 'Lakewood Beach Community Council'; DL - Council Only; Zegarac, Mike
Subject: RE: Auchmar Garden Walls
I am forwarding this e-mail to Mike Zegarac for his review and clarification. Maria
Later that afternoon, the City's finance chief Mike Zegarac responds:
From: Zegarac, Mike Sent: March-03-17 3:57 PM
To: Lakewood Beach Community Council; Pearson, Maria; DL - Council Only
Subject: Re: Auchmar Garden Walls
Ownership of Asset: If at any time within six years from the date of the completion of the project, the recipient sells, leases, encumbers or otherwise disposes of, directly or indirectly, any asset funded, in whole or in part, with the financial assistance contributed under the terms of the CIP 150, the recipient must repay the federal government, on demand, a proportionate amount of the financial assistance as follows: 100% within two years of project completion, 55% between two and six years after project completion and 0%, six years after project completion.
It may be possible the federal gov’t if asked may permit the City to lease these facilities with the proviso of guaranteed public access and benefit without having to repay any grant monies.
Saunders to media later on Friday
Subject: Fw: Auchmar Garden Walls Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2017 21:16:39 +0000 From: Lakewood Beach Community Council
To: Kevin Werner, Samantha Craggs, Matthew VanDongen, Joey Coleman
It'll be interesting to see if Council goes ahead and approves this project on Wednesday without any further discussion, putting $273,000 of the federal funds at risk of having to be repaid back, in light of the fact they haven't reached a firm decision on the selling, leasing or keeping of Auchmar as yet.