Public spaces, useful places

Public spaces, useful places
Borough Councillor Guillaume Lirette-Gélinas, Borough President and City Councillor Claude Charron, and Borough Councillor Jennifer Garfat (Photo : William Crooks)

Debate over use of Lennoxville’s old firehall focus of monthly meeting

By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative

Lennoxville’s Borough Council held its monthly meeting April 30, with numerous local residents urging the Council to free up the use of the town’s old firehall for public projects as it was previously when it was overseen by volunteer firefighters. Borough President and City Councillor Claude Charron presided over the 20-minute meeting with seven members of the public in attendance.

Jane Loiselle, representing the Lennoxville Art Group, took the floor first to address the Council during the meeting’s question period. She reminded those gathered she attended a Council meeting back in February and brought up the firehall topic. At that meeting, she was urged to write a letter to the town on the issue.

She received a response within a week, which she appreciated. However, she admits she was “not pleased” with its contents. Loiselle read out parts of the response to the group.

“Unfortunately, it will not be possible to hold activities on this premises,” it read.

“As you mentioned, they are exclusively devoted to storage.”

The response went on to say the town could provide a 10ft. by 10ft. tent instead.

“[That] is nice, but I’m sorry, for an art group a 10ft. by 10ft. tent is not practical,” Loiselle said to the April 30 gathering. She does not think the issue has been explored enough. Many groups wish to use this space, and she thinks such a quick negative response was unwarranted.

Loiselle was approached recently by the Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre, who suggested a joint project with the Lennoxville Art Group could be held this August. If they had access to the old firehall, they know they could pull it off even if the weather turned sour.

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