Council Looking At More Options After Being Asked For $5-Million To Help Redevelop Norfolk Inn

The majority of Norfolk County Council seemed eager to help Indwell redevelop the Norfolk Inn, but spending $250,000 a year for the next 20 years was a little hard for most to swallow.

That is what was requested at Town Hall from Indwell with the group seeking $5-million to flip the building into affordable living space up top and commercial space on the bottom.

The reason Indwell had approached council looking for this financial assistance had to do with the lack of Provincial and Federal funding available at the moment.

This is a common source of cash flow for the group that they have been using in projects before this including Hambleton Hall.

This request left many councillors like Ian Rabbitts in a bit of a bind.

Rabbitts has worked closely with Indwell and is in favour of everything they are doing.

That being said, he had serious reservations about the county committing so much money towards the project.

Councillor Amy Martin echoed this concern saying she was eager to help but that county is just not in the position to offer this support at this time.

Councillor Kim Huffman saw it as a much-needed investment as this development was creating positive momentum in Simcoe’s downtown.

She also said it would assist the counties most vulnerable individuals.

Councillor Michael Columbus was opposed to the idea of sinking in $5-million to a building the county won’t own at the end.

Staff told our elected officials that each year they’d seek grant applications and other fundings to help bring down that cost.

The majority of council voted to defer the issue asking staff to look at more creative options through incentives, price breaks, and a range of other options in order to help Indwell save money but not put themselves in a payment plan for the next two decades.

It was a Council-In-Committee meeting so council could revisit the issue as soon as next Tuesday.

Originally published at norfolktoday.ca on June 19, 2019

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