O’Hara asks is it cheaper to build?

395 Fletcher St. - the building formerly owned by Petrolia's former CAO which the town is renting for storage

The Independent Staff

Petrolia Councillor Ross O’Hara thinks it may be cheaper to build storage than to rent it.
He’s asked staff to study the idea after a discussion about the town’s latest agreement to rent 395 Fletcher St. – a property now known to be owned by a numbered company for which Petrolia Chief Administrative Officer Manny Baron has signing authority.
During the Oct. 10 council meeting, O’Hara asked about the building near the Farmers’ Market.
O’Hara says staff told him it was costing the town $2,500 a month to rent the space. It is being shared by the Public Works Department and Victoria Playhouse Petrolia.
That prompted O’Hara to ask for the report.
“Basically, I want to see what it would cost if we did own a building like this,” O’Hara tells The Independent.
“It seems as though we are spending a lot of money every year on storing equipment.”
O’Hara thought the cost would be up to $30,000.
“I don’t see why we couldn’t build another building at the public works yard,” he says adding it could be similar to an agricultural building with a concrete floor and minimal heating.
“If you look at it over 10 years, if we’re going to be spending $25,000 to $30,000 a year for renting, maybe it will be cheaper to build.”
An analysis of the draft 2018 budget, unveiled two days later to councillors, shows the amount of money the town and its divisions pays for storage is actually much higher.
Parks and Recreation has budgeted $17,572 for storage this year. The Oil Heritage District Community Centre also has a budget line for $40,041 which includes storage – although it is not clear exactly how much money has been allotted to storage.
And the VPP will also pay $17,500 for storage with money generated from its ticket sales.
It’s not clear how long the staff analysis of the issue will take.