City of Melfort to fund shortfall for old post office renovations

By Aaron Schulze
September 11, 2018 - 2:00pm Updated: September 12, 2018 - 7:18am

Melfort City Council approved to provide $50,000 of up-front financing to replace the windows of the first post office.

The wall and window replacement budget totalled out to be $200,000, which was greater than the initial project budget of $150,000.

The Preservation and Rehabilitation Committee has raised $200,000 through fundraising and grants, including a $100,000 Legacy Grant from the federal government.

Councilor Trent Mitchell was the only member who voted against the funding. Mitchell told northeastNOW one of the reasons he voted no is because the city’s $50,000 up-front wouldn’t impact the Legacy Grant.

“The grant was to a max of $100,000 and we have already achieved that level of investment,” Mitchell said. “The request was for an additional 50,000 to cover the estimate overrun and will not be matched.”

Mitchell knew the motion would be passed no matter where his vote landed and wanted his vote to be symbolic for another issue.

“I am not against the investment into the historic post office,” Mitchell said. “We need to maintain the landmark. However, I have been pushing for a plan of how the city will use this facility in the future. It was simply a way to reinforce the need to determine the plan for the building.”

Future use of the old post office is something Mayor Rick Lang said is an ongoing problem, but he doesn’t believe replacing the windows right now will impact future use.

“Regardless of what use goes into that building the windows are something that’s going to help solve that problem,” Lang said. “It’s going to reduce some costs based on the expenses that are occurring right now and also mitigate any further damage.”

The Preservation and Rehabilitation Committee is expected to continue fundraising and pay the city back after the project is expected to be complete by Mar. 31, 2019.

 

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 5:04 p.m. on September 11, 2018 to clarify the amount of money contributed from the city. 

 

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