TRURO - Colchester County is setting aside half a million dollars for the potential purchase of the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition (NSPE) grounds and facilities.
NSPE purchase funds
While some of the purchase details are still be ironed out, the move was made based on previous negotiations between the two sides and a recent 5-2 vote by the commission to sell the NSPE to the municipality.
Council voted 6 to 5 in favour of setting the money aside, with councillors Wade Parker, Doug MacInnes, Karen MacKenzie, Geoff Stewart and Christine Blair voting against the motion.
The money is to come from a reserve established for a Bible Hill Master Plan aimed at extending Farmham Road on a parallel course with Pictou Road.
“I have a problem with us spending that money to buy the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition grounds,” Coun. Parker said, in raising an objection to the motion.
He argued that the money was put in the reserve as a means to purchase property to allow for the extension of Farnham Raod and it should be left for that purpose.
Others, including Coun. Tom Taggart, however, said the money would be better served to purchase the financially stricken exhibition facility to protect the future of such community activities as 4-H clubs and other cultural events.
“The other thing that I think needs to be clarified here, I believe, is we are not purchasing a piece of land, we are responding to a request, on two different occasions, from the board of the Nova Scotia exhibition commission to take over an entity… ,” he said. “The bottom line is, we are not purchasing a piece of property, we are taking over a community asset that we were asked to take over okay, and this is our security.”
If the purchase deal proceeds, the municipal money would be used to pay off more than $400,000 owed by the NSPE to the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board, which currently holds the deed to the facility.
That deed would be transferred to the municipality of the deal goes through.