Mu­sicfest seeks more from county

The Peterborough Examiner - - OPINION - JOELLE KOVACH EX­AM­INER STAFF WRITER JKo­vach@post­media.com

Peter­bor­ough Mu­sicfest asked Peter­bor­ough County for more fund­ing at a meet­ing on Wed­nes­day – but county coun­cil­lors aren’t go­ing to make up their minds un­til later this year.

The fes­ti­val brings free live mu­sic to Del Crary Park, every Wed­nes­day and Satur­day of the sum­mer.

Un­like other fes­ti­vals, Mu­sicfest doesn’t gen­er­ate rev­enues from ticket or beer sales – the series re­lies on spon­sors, donors and gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

David Fee­ley, the chair­man of the Mu­sicfest board of di­rec­tors, spoke to county coun­cil­lors on Wed­nes­day.

County coun­cil has been giv­ing the fes­ti­val $15,000 an­nu­ally since 2006, he said. Mean­while, costs to run the fes­ti­val have in­creased by 40 per cent since then.

Mean­while Fee­ley said the city of Peter­bor­ough has in­creased its fund­ing to Mu­sicfest by 35 per cent, over the last decade. In 2017, the city is giv­ing $115,382.

County coun­cil­lors didn’t de­bate whether to give the fes­ti­val more money – they voted to dis­cuss it dur­ing bud­get talks, later this winter.

Mu­sicfest av­er­ages 18 free con­certs per year.

The 30th an­niver­sary fes­ti­val – in 2016 - in­cluded shows by Ser­ena Ry­der, Keifer Suther­land and Plat­inum Blonde.

Although the full lineup for the 2017 fes­ti­val has yet to be an­nounced, the first con­cert – on Satur­day, July 1 – will be Kim Mitchell as part of Peter­bor­ough’s Canada 150 cel­e­bra­tions.

Last year, Mu­sicfest had a to­tal of 121,000 at­ten­dees (Fee­ley said 17 per cent of them came from the county). Also on county coun­cil’s agenda Wed­nes­day:

Mount Com­mu­nity Cen­tre:

County coun­cil was asked to waive the in­ter­est on a $1.7-mil­lion loan made to the Mount Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in 2014.

The Mount is a for­mer con­vent on Mon­aghan Rd. that is be­ing con­verted into af­ford­able apart­ments.

Stephen Kylie, pres­i­dent of the Mount’s board, said the loan will be paid back to the county – in full and on time – on April 15, 2017.

But there’s still $58,271 in in­ter­est owing on the loan, also due April 15.

The loan agree­ment said in­ter­est at a rate of 2.5 per cent would be charged on the prin­ci­pal - it’s due when the loan is re­paid.

Kylie asked county coun­cil to for­give the in­ter­est.

But coun­cil didn’t de­cide on the spot – it will con­sider it dur­ing bud­get talks, later this winter.

Kylie told coun­cil the first 43 apart­ments in The Mount are al­ready built and oc­cu­pied. (They are now plan­ning to de­velop 40 more apart­ments, in a sep­a­rate wing of the build­ing.)

He also told coun­cil­lors the Vic­to­rian Or­der of Nurses has moved into The Mount: The VON’s adult day pro­gram for clients with be­hav­ioral chal­lenges is there and they have an overnight week­end respite pro­gram there too.

There are also plans to build a new com­mer­cial kitchen in The Mount. It is ex­pected to be used as a test kitchen for lo­cal chefs and en­trepreneurs to de­velop new prod­ucts us­ing lo­cally grown food.

New county web­site:

Peter­bor­ough County launched its new web­site t the meet­ing.

Sheri­dan Graham, the county’s di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate projects and ser­vices, showed the site to coun­cil­lors. She said the site – at www.pt­bo­county.ca - was de­signed to be more user-friendly.

Graham said county staff worked for about a year with an Ot­tawa firm, eSo­lu­tion­sGroup, to de­sign the site.

Graham said the county spend about $60,000 for the site and also for a new in­tranet sys­tem for county staff.

Mean­while the City of Peter­bor­ough­has­bud­geted$425,000 to up­date its web­site in 2017.

Graham said on Wed­nes­day there’s no com­par­i­son be­tween the county’s site and the city’s – the city’s will have far more in­for­ma­tion.

That’s be­cause the city has a tran­sit ser­vice, for ex­am­ple, and a so­cial ser­vices depart­ment.

“They ob­vi­ously have a broader scope of ser­vices,” she said, and thus a more com­pli­cated web­site.

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