Plans to celebrate the grand opening of the new County of Kings municipal complex in Coldbrook are starting to take form but finding workable dates is proving challenging.
At a recent special meeting of Kings County council, councillors approved $7,500 to fund the grand opening celebrations but put off setting the dates.
Sept. 5 and 6 had been proposed but not all members of council were available. Staff later proposed Sept. 26 and 27 but Coun. Bob Best, who represents the Coldbrook area, expressed concern that the building’s front pergola may not be finished by then. He suggested waiting until October.
Coun. Pauline Raven suggested Oct. 24 and 25 but some members of council have schedule conflicts involving these dates too.
Deputy chief administrative officer Rob Frost said staff is now looking for alternative dates when all members of council are available, which isn’t easy considering all the schedules involved. The celebrations will likely be held sometime in late October. He said the municipality would publicize the dates when they’re set.
“It’s really just to show people where we are and what the building looks like,” Frost said. “I think people will see that it’s a really nice building but also modest and meets our needs.”
Frost said visitors would see that council has done a good job right-sizing the building to suit the requirements of the municipality. As it said in a recent staff report to council, opening the building to residents is part of the municipality’s community engagement.
The first night would feature a wine and cheese reception for invited dignitaries. Invite suggestions include the Glooscap and Annapolis Valley First Nations councils; the councils of towns within Kings County and the mayors and wardens of neighbouring municipalities; village commissions; the Premier and local MLA’s, the Kings-Hants MP (or candidates), members of council committees and former members of Kings County council from 2012 to 2016.
Each councillor would also be given 10 individual invitations to hand out, for a total of approximately 200 attendees. It’s proposed that the opening would include guided tours of the building by senior staff and a half hour would be set aside for speeches.
The second date would be an open house for the general public. It would include a smudging ceremony, the municipal crier, a ribbon cutting, a cake cutting and guided tours from staff.
The $7,500 budget would cover both events and would be used to pay for catering, advertising, honorariums and other expenses. The money would come from the Other Administrative Account. The expenditure may cause the account to be over budget for the year but staff advised council that this would hopefully be offset by savings in other areas.
Director of Engineering and Public Works and Lands and Park Services Scott Quinn said the contractor has advised that the front pergola should be completed during the last week in September. The municipality officially moved into the new building on June 3.
DID YOU KNOW?
- In June 2017, following an extensive public consultation process, council voted to locate the new municipal complex on a Coldbrook Village Park Drive property, which is about six acres in size.
- In January 2018, council voted to award the construction contract to Roscoe Construction of Cambridge for the total price of $5,310,000 plus HST. Council also approved a contingency fund of 7.5 per cent of the contract value for potential change orders.
- $1.8 million in funding for a new public works garage, to be built in a separate location, is included in the municipality’s budget for the current year.