East end flagpole replacement project to move forward

July 21, 2016   ·   0 Comments

The Orangeville east end flagpole replacement project will be moving forward in the coming weeks, thanks to a unanimous vote by members of Council on Monday evening. While the project was put on hold to allow for the fundraising committee to raise funds from local donors, the need to move forward due to the weather was brought to Council during Monday night’s meeting.

A recommendation was received by staff asking that Council authorize them to begin the groundwork preparation for the project, asking them to decide whether Council would be agreeable to fund the remaining costs and determine whether it would be repaid via continued fundraising.

Mayor Jeremy Williams explained that the weather right now makes for the perfect time to do the work.

“When the weather is dry like this, it is the best time for working in a wetland,” he explained. “The ground will be dry, which is needed in order to proceed with the installation.”

As of the time the Citizen went to press, the total raised over the last few months for the project is $14,120.71 of the original $44,000 goal. However, the $44,000 goal was just the initial budget set for the project. According to Town Staff, the project will actually cost around $30,000, meaning the fundraising has already nearly hit the halfway mark. With the donations of some services and materials from local businesses, such as R.J. Burnside, the cost remaining will be less than $16,000.

“One way of looking at it is that the committee has raised approximately half the money necessary, and the Town should fund the balance,” said Councillor Scott Wilson.

Councillor Wilson added that he was supportive of the fundraising committee and felt they had done a great job with the amount of money that has been donated.

“The flagpole originally went up years ago because of fundraising from the community, so now, the community has essentially paid for a flagpole and a half,” he said. “I think it might be difficult to raise money after the pole is up. The Town should fund the rest.”

Paul Korsten, one of the members of the fundraising committee implored council to move forward with the project, but asked that they allow them to continue fundraising.

“The Mayor is right in so far as we have an opportunity at this time because of the dry weather to actually put the pole in; to advance the project a little bit this year just makes sense,” he said. “But I don’t want to cut off my nose and say we want to stop funding. The flagpole and east end park are just small parts of the bigger picture, and I want to see this go bigger.”

He shared that recently, two young girls set up a lemonade stand one day to raise money for a cat, successfully bringing in over $900. They now have asked to set up a lemonade stand for the flagpole.

“They will be setting up their stand outside of Korsten’s on Founder’s Day, and we have offered to match what they raise,” said Mr. Korsten. “So don’t necessarily shut us down. I’m really glad you want to move forward, but please don’t stop fundraising.”

Following Mr. Korsten’s speech, Council first needed to vote on whether or not they would move forward with the project, funding it from the Town to start. The motion carried, with a unanimous vote.

The main concern that was brought up with fundraising was that allowing it to continue for a long time once it was installed may not have the kind of success raising funds before the installation would. 

The fundraising committee will be given until September 30 to raise the remainder of the funds. Should the goal not be met, the remainder will be funded by the Town in the 2017 budget.

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