The town had everything to do with the facility becoming vacant when the Feds apparently signalled
intention to close Fort York and Aurora Armouries as a cost-cutting measure.
Whatever went on in the Mayor's office with Chris Ballard, Citizen Chair of the Economic Advisory Committee, the town parks department was evicted from the former hydro property and it was turned over to Queen's York Rangers . Mr. Ballard was not then elected .He was involved with the Rangers.
At a closed meeting ,the CAO informed Council of a successfully negotiated lease with the feds for the hydro building. Later, in public. Councillor Gaertner congratulated the CAO.for his good work.
Town archives were stored in the hydro office building. Heritage salvage in the huge yard.Park furniture. Including a gazebo was manufactured in the service building which provided ample storage for vehicles and equipment.,
For QYR, two hundred thousands dollars were spent for a sprinkler system. The complete financial outlay was never reported.
Rent revenue was presented as an asset. Offsetting costs for maintenance were not factored.Loss of Grant -in -lieu of taxes was also a deficit and excluded from calculations.
Real estate value of several million was not considered. Sold into the private sector, the financial asset would have been realised. Real estate taxes in an amount of $67,000 a year would have been paid to the town treasury.
Jobs would have been created.
A sale would have meant a substantial contribution towards the cost of building the new joint facility in the planning stages at the time.
Another alternative, was for the parks department to move from Scanlon Court leaving space for the works department to expand and eliminating the need for the new site that cost more to remediate than purchase.
Queen's York Rangers won a reprieve through Aurora Council and Town Administration at the expense of Aurora taxpayers.
National security, they said, required the lease to be secret.
The last (mostly the current) Council extended the lease for thirty years. In the circumstances,it's a gift.Not dissimilar to the Culture Centre.
A Royal Ball replete with Royal guest was organized to raise funds for dress uniforms.it was in Richmond Hill.
Dignitaries flocked to the auspicious occasion, tickets no doubt paid at taxpayers's expense.
The name on the location sign was changed from Aurora Armouries to Governor John Graves SImcoe Armouries.
For sixty years at least, QYR have been keen to honour the original Commanding Officer, he served a tour of duty in Canada then went home to England.
The sign has since been painted out.
Changes to the interior were made without town knowledge or approval. The huge yard is vastly under-utilized.
Whatever interest was served by lease of a town-owned building, it was not the interest of the municipal corporation; not in any shape or context.
Half a million for a decrepit shed in need of quarter of a million for de-contamination ,is just the final insult of the town, ill-served for eight years.
The federal grant -in-lieu of taxes is also forfeit. Still another deficit to town coffers.
Mes Amis, It's not corruption you have to worry about; it is unbelievable stupidity.
While you sleep, they rob you blind.