BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL News Staff
South Glengarry council will mull over a request from the Glengarry Fencibles Trust for $125,000 over the next five years to help restore the Bishop’s House in St. Raphael’s.
Brenda Baxter, director of the non-profit group, told council recently that the contribution would help defray capital and landscaping expenses.
“The costs are huge. We knew that when we took this (project) on,” she said. “We, the board members and the supporters of the Glengarry Fencibles Trust, thank you very much for what you have done, for listening tonight, and perhaps for what you could do.”
The group is hoping to turn the vacant 200-year-old structure into an educational and cultural centre focusing on the site’s historical significance.
The Trust is looking at holding a Gaelic dinner fundraiser this year, and is planning to reach out to the business community for support. “We have been very busy trying to save money, as opposed to spending it carelessly,” she said.
“A few of us have been filling out grant Applications, so that we don’t have to hire professionals to do it. And one of the applications is for a matching, cost-sharing grant, through Parks Canada, specifically for National Historic Sites projects. If we raise $100,000 by the end of March, and if our application is accepted… we’ll know by the end of June.”
The Fencibles Trust was originally slated to take ownership of the Bishop’s House from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall December 2.
However, “severance delays and construction conflicts,” according to Mrs. Baxter, have caused that date to be pushed back to this March 31.
South Glengarry Mayor Ian McLeod said the group’s request for $25,000 annual contributions over the next five years will be considered during upcoming 2016 municipal budget talks.
Restoration of the Bishop’s House, an estimated $2 million initiative, is scheduled to take place in three phases beginning this year, and be completed by February, 2018.
For more details about the Bishop’s House project, visit bishopshouse.ca.
© The Glengarry News, Wednesday, January 13, 2016. pg 1 & 2
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