Arts and culture coordinator off the table

Cornwall Coun. Brock Frost during a December 2014 budget meeting. (Cornwall Newswatch/File)

CORNWALL – It looks as though one Cornwall councillor’s idea of creating an arts and culture coordinator won’t get off the ground, at least this year.

City council will receive a report Monday suggesting the municipality shelve the idea at this time and continue with a study on creating an arts center.

“We have researched similar municipal positions that deal with Arts and Culture programs and have found salaries to be in the range of $43,643 to $53,380 plus benefits,” writes Parks and Recreation Division Manager Christine Lefebvre.

By providing a space at the Benson Center – the only open space the city has for an office – plus materials and supplies, the parks and rec department estimates the actual cost of the position would come in around $75,000 with an additional one-time cost of $5,000.

Right now, the parks and recreation department has several staff members – such as the leisure arts coordinator and facility rental coordinator – who provide services to the arts community.

The idea was brought forward by Coun. Brock Frost on Jan. 12 as part of following through on one of his campaign promises.

Even getting the arts center feasibility study is going to be a struggle.

The report states that $17,000 is in the 2015 budget for it but stakeholders say it’s not enough money to complete a thorough study and the city should look for other sources of funding.

The report is also recommending council add those funds to complete the study before talking about hiring an arts and culture coordinator.

Hiring and arts and culture coordinator now is like “putting the cart before the horse,” states the report.

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