The Marigold Cultural Centre is going to benefit financially from the Town of Truro. Town council has agreed to forgive the centre’s outstanding property taxes, in addition to offering it other financial help. File photo
TRURO - The Town of Truro is increasing its efforts to help alleviate the Marigold Cultural Centre’s financial crisis.
Town council was approached by the Cobequid Arts Council and Marigold Cultural Centre in December, seeking financial support and non-tax status to help the financially-troubled facility. On Monday, council unanimously accepted a number of recommendations from the town’s director of finance, Robert Putnam.
The suggestions included the town offering the Cobequid Arts Council, which oversees the Marigold, a one-time grant to forgive property taxes and interest, which is currently at $109,000.
Other suggestions are to ask the building’s owner, Truro Investment Co-operative Limited, to maintain ownership and responsibility for the property, continuing to access community support for any capital improvements needed.
In addition, the co-operative limited will be asked to write off any rent receivable on its books, and forgive annual rent to the Cobequid Arts Council, which would continue operation of the Marigold.
If those items are agreed to, the town would increase its annual operating grant, which is currently $81,000, to include the annual property taxes, which are estimated to be $27,000.
Coun. Raymond Tynes said he’s in favour of arts and cultural opportunities, but expressed concern with the help the town is offering.
“I have a problem continuing in this manner. I want to know what is (the arts council) going to do differently? I don’t see them coming out of the hole,” said Tynes. “If we are going to (use) this much of taxpayers’ money we need to be more involved.”
Coun. Brian Kinsman said agreeing to the recommendations could “help them break even.”
Council will look at the financial situation of the Marigold on a yearly basis before potentially making any future contributions. Council also wants the arts council to present annual budget information, a report of its yearly activities and budget estimates for the next fiscal year.