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Georgina, Ontario Water Centre ink deal to rebuild barn with naming rights
April 5, 2017
Heidi Riedner

Naming rights to a municipal asset are part of an agreement inked between the town and the Ontario Water Centre that will see a historic Georgina barn raised from the ashes by fall.

The two parties have been in discussions regarding a joint rebuild of the barn on the Clear Water Farm property in Willow Beach ever since it was destroyed by a fire accidentally set by two youths on Oct. 8, 2016.

While a rebuilt barn is a major centrepiece of the Ontario Water Centre’s Clear Water Farm initiative moving forward, it would remain a municipal asset under the agreement tabled at council March 29.

The town will cough up over $268,000 in insurance money to the rebuild.

In exchange for overseeing the design and construction, as well as raising an additional $150,000 on top of the insurance money, the Ontario Water Centre will have the ability to grant naming rights to the barn via corporate donation or sponsorship.

While council balked at handing over absolute naming rights under the agreement, it voted to approve a compromise that will give a council subcommittee final approval to a vetted list of potential names provided by the Water Centre.

The move would ensure the town wasn’t saddled with a name “we’re not exactly enamoured with”, Mayor Quirk said, adding she’s not prepared to hand over exclusive naming rights to any group for any town asset.

Colin Dobel of the Water Centre estimated project management costs would most likely be in the neighbourhood of $225,000 toward a total rebuild price tag between $450,000 and $500,000.

Council also agreed to waive all town permit and development charges fees associated with the project in exchange for the Water Centre taking on the obligation to raise the additional funding and to pay the additional annual property taxes which will accrue as a result of the increase in the farm's value.

The new barn will have the same size footprint and approximate location as the original, but will not use the original stone wall foundation in its construction, according to the agreement.

The hope is to have the barn rebuilt by the fall of this year.