Community halls receive funding boost

Dave Stewart
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The federal and provincial governments are spending close to $400,000 to upgrade facilities across P.E.I. Representing those facilities are, from left, George O'Connor, president of the Benevolent Irish Society; Corey Frizzell, deputy mayor of Cornwall; Doug Cooke, representing the Winsloe Lions Club; and Kent Croken, representing the Emerald Community Centre and Train Station.

Members of the Benevolent Irish Society weren't shy about how they're going to spend part of those federal and provincial dollars — on a new shade of green.

Tony Dolan, first vice-president of the BIS, joked at a press conference on Wednesday that the painter who did the walls inside the main hall on the top floor did a less than admirable job.

"It's a God awful colour,'' he told The Guardian in true Irish form. "It's supposed to be lighter.''

The provincial and federal governments announced a total of $380,720 will be spent to upgrade a few facilities Islandwide - the BIS, Winsloe Lions Club, Cornwall Civic Centre and the Emerald Community Centre and Train Station.

National Revenue Minister Gail Shea and Ron MacKinley, provincial minister of Rural Development, were on hand for the announcement. The feds are contributing $184,598 from the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund while the province is throwing in $129,200 under the Island Community Fund.

The BIS is getting $71,594 from the feds and $39,200 from the province for new siding and the replacement of 11 windows, new flooring, new light fixtures, air conditioning and an addition to the main floor stage, additional storage space, improvements to the library/genealogy centre, paving and, of course, a lighter shade of green on the walls.

"It's important to have a cultural centre like this to promote the Irish culture and heritage,'' Dolan said.

The Winsloe Lions Club is getting $43,861 from the federal government and $40,000 from the province to add a new front entrance to its facility, replace the basement ceiling, remove and relocate decking, add storage and meeting rooms and expand the kitchen.

Today, the Lions Club in Winsloe boasts 17 members and has bounced back from a devastating fire in 2002. Last year, the club donated $30,000 to various groups and charities.

The Town of Cornwall has received $16,643 from the feds and $12,800 from the province for new air conditioner units for the main floor rooms in the Civic Centre.

Deputy Mayor Corey Frizzell said there were cost overruns from what was essentially a rebuild. By the time the town spent the budgeted $2 million there wasn't anything left over for the AC units.

The Emerald Recreation Club will receive $52,500 from the feds and $37,200 from the province to carry out upgrades to the community centre and train station in Emerald. Improvement work to the community centre will include insulation of floor and exterior walls, new windows and doors, upgrades to electrical, painting, an air exchange, a portable stage as well as tables and chairs. Work at the train station will include a new roof and flue, upgrades to wiring, exterior painting and new signage.

Kent Croken, who was there to represent Emerald, said the two buildings are the heart of the community.

"Really, these are the only two public buildings Emerald has and without them we wouldn't see our neighbours,'' Croken said.

Organizations: Benevolent Irish Society, The Guardian, Cornwall Civic Centre Emerald Community Centre Rural Development Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund Island Community Fund.The BIS Dolan said.The Winsloe Lions Club AC units.The Emerald Recreation Club

Geographic location: Cornwall

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Recent comments

  • Darcie Lanthier
    February 21, 2013 - 12:03

    My mistake, Emerald is going to add insulation. Way to go Emerald!

  • Darcie Lanthier
    February 21, 2013 - 11:59

    Not one of these projects mentions energy efficiency. Any spending of taxpayers money should be tied to a criteria that reduces resource consumption. Insulation, air source heat pumps, low flow water devices, LED lighting and etc. should be part of all new construction and renovation. The colour of the walls is irrelevant unless it's used to reflect light or collect solar radiation. A little foresight would go a long way in any construction/renovation project.

  • Carmen McGrattan
    February 21, 2013 - 11:55

    Mr Nobody.... WELL SAID !!!!!

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    February 21, 2013 - 10:45

    PRIORITIES, PRIORITIES, PRIORITIES. SHEA and McKINLEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED. This is selective corporate welfare, patronage, or whatever you want to call it, it's a bad move. BENEVOLENT DRINKING HOLE. What is wrong with this picture? We can all starve, freeze, OR MOVE. There are not a lot of other options for a GROWING NUMBER of Islanders. There is lots of money for the projects that government wants, but none for what the people want. If you look around at all of these supposed FUNDING OF PROJECTS you will note that they are all self serving. Why can't they pay to paint their own walls? If they cannot afford it then perhaps they should move their organization out to ALBERTA where the feds want us all to go. I know where I want the feds to go and it is not in Canada.

    • IRA
      February 21, 2013 - 12:33

      Benevolent drinking hole eh, I guess since the article is about an Irish society they must be all drunks. That's like saying everyone that belongs to your coalition for ending poverty is full of uneducated dead beats who can't hold a job. I also love your comment Bill that there is no funding for projects that the people want, I would say that renovations to small halls around the province would be what people in that area want. I agree that it isn't the best thing to spend federal money on, but if we didn't get that money you would then comment how the "feds" don't care about PEI. I know somewhere that I would like you to go, and it's not Canada either.

  • ei ei oh
    February 21, 2013 - 09:14

    Lots of pork money rolling around in Charlottetown and Ottawa for buying out the votes of the simple rural people by fixing declining community halls. Nothing for actually improving their lives though. Instead Charlottetown spends the majority of its money on paying the Liberal and PC backroom types and unnecessary paving and road construction. Ottawa pays out its backroom types and spends the rest on military hardware. What a screwed up province and country.

    February 21, 2013 - 08:27

    I find it truly amazing that there is no money left to keep people warm in this province yet both Governments can afford hundred of thousands to paint community centres.

  • mr.nobody
    February 21, 2013 - 08:10

    PSSSST... This is the government. Here is way too much money for ridiculous upgrades to buildings. Our plan is to make your drinking holes much nicer so you won't complain so much while we cut your EI and bring in new taxes. We really think this will work because the truth is we don't really think you all are very bright. No matter how bad things get at least the walls will be a lighter shade of green.

  • nice
    February 21, 2013 - 07:27

    When does the Irish school board start operations?

    • Ex islander
      February 21, 2013 - 11:01

      Soon I hope.