The cost of owning Costin Hall and Heritage Church could get very expensive for the District of Lantzville as both buildings are facing thousands of dollars in maintenance costs.
During a commitee of the whole meeting on Monday, Lantzville councillors recommended increasing the maintenance budget for the two buildings from $40,250 to $45,000 after a report from the Seaside Community Society, which leases the hall and the church, requested money for work on both buildings.
Coun. Bob Colclough said he’d like to see additional money allocated in case of unexpected maintenance.
“It is a very old building. It’s got five additions to it. They were all done on the cheap with a lot of volunteer labour and a lot of donated items,” he said. “There is the potential for pumping backups or things to break.”
The motion will still need to be voted on by councillors during a regular meeting. Should councillors ultimately decide to spend the money, it would be the beginning of thousands of dollars in repairs recommended for the future. Lantzville’s 2018-21 financial plan indicates that the district budgeted $285,720 for repairs and upgrades on both buildings. Among the repairs needed include renovations to washrooms and a new drop ceiling at Costin Hall.
The district had $167,323 in a capital works reserve fund for Costin Hall as of January 2016. It also had an additional $179,523 in capital works reserve fund for the Heritage Church.
After the meeting, Coun. John Coulson said councillors need to have a serious discussion about the future of Costin Hall and the church. He said an economic case could be made to replace the two buildings with a new building, adding that there are opportunities for the district to qualify for funding from various federal and provincial grant programs.