Should the City of Kingston pay the CAS any more than fair market value for its share of the City/CAS building on Montreal Street to assist this new development?
-- Kingston Electors
CAS GETS A NEW HOME: THE FRONTENAC CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY HAS FOUND A NEW HOME TO CONSOLIDATE ITS TWO OFFICES IN KINGSTON.
CKWS-TV January 26, 2009
THE MAYOR SAYS IF THEY CAN'T AGREE ON A "FAIR" PRICE TAG TO BUY THE CAS SHARE OF THE MONTREAL STREET OFFICE ... THEN THE MATTER WILL GO TO ARBITRATION.
BUT THE AGENCY STILL HAS AN IMPORTANT "LOOSE END" TO TIE UP.
THE CAS BEGAN LOOKING FOR A NEW OFFICE BUILDING 8 YEARS AGO.
.... HAVING OUTGROWN ITS MAIN LOCATION ON MONTREAL STREET, WHICH IT CO-OWNS WITH THE CITY'S SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT.
AND THIS IS TOUTED AS THE NEW HOME FOR CHILD WELFARE AND ADOPTION SERVICES.
THE AGENCY HAS JUST PURCHASED MORE THAN 5 ACRES OF THIS THE LONG ABANDONED PARMALAT DAIRY PROPERTY ON DIVISION STREET -- ONE BLOCK NORTH OF THE POLICE STATION.
RAY MULDOON/ CAS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
"FOR US IT'S A PERFECT SITE. IT'S ON A MAIN TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR IN NORTH-CENTRAL KINGSTON, SO WE CAN PROVIDE DIRECT ACCESS TO OUR KIDS AND FAMILIES IN A BETTER WAY."
MULDOON SAYS THE LAND PURCHASE AND BUILDING DEMOLITION WILL COST ABOUT ONE MILLION DOLLARS... PLUS ANOTHER 13 MILLION TO CONSTRUCT A NEW 75-THOUSAND SQUARE FOOT BUILDING.... TO BRING ITS OFFICES ON MONTREAL STREET AND COUNTER BOULEVARD UNDER ONE ROOF.
"QUITE FRANKLY WE CAN'T MAKE A BUSINESS OR SERVICE CASE FOR DOING IT OUT OF TWO SITES.
SO THIS IS JUST A MODEL THAT NEEDS TO MOVE AHEAD"
MULDOON IS EXPECTING THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT TO FOOT SOME OF THE CAPITAL COSTS.
AND, THERE'S ANOTHER CRUCIAL FUNDING SOURCE.
THE CAS IS COUNTING ON MILLIONS FROM THE SALE OF ITS SHARE OF THE MONTREAL STREET BUILDING.
BUT IT'S TURNED INTO A FAMILY DISPUTE.
BOTH GOVERNMENT AGENCIES CAN'T AGREE ON A PARTING PRICE. ... DESPITE YEARS OF TALKS AND EVEN A RECENT COURT CHALLENGE.
"THE CAS CAN BUY WHAT THEY LIKE. THE PROBLEM IS SELLING WHAT THEY HAVE."
MAYOR HARVEY ROSEN SAYS THE CITY DOESN'T REALLY NEED MORE MUNICIPAL OFFICE SPACE, BUT RECOGNIZES THE CAS WANTS TO MOVE INTO A BIGGER HOME.
" THE CITY HAS A DUTY TO TREAT ALL AGENCIES UNDER ITS JURISDICTION FAIRLY. AND WE WILL PROCEED ON THAT BASIS"
BOTH THE CITY AND THE CAS AGREE THE DIVISION STREET PURCHASE WILL REVITALIZE THAT AREA OF TOWN.
MULDOON SAYS CHILDREN'S AID HAS DOUBLED ITS STAFF AND CLIENT CASELOAD IN THE PAST DECADE... NOW SERVING OVER TWO-THOUSAND FAMILIES.
"WE HAVE A LOT OF KIDS AND FAMILIES THAT NEED ACCESS IN A FACILITY.
WE THINK WE CAN ACCOMMODATE THAT IN A BETTER FACILITY."
THE CAS WOULD LIKE TO BEGIN DEMOLITION AND SITE CLEAN UP WORK THIS SPRING.
BUT THE TIME LINE FOR RELOCATION COULD ULTIMATELY HINGE ON A LEGAL SEPARATION AGREEMENT WITH CITY HALL.
THE FRONTENAC CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY HAS FOUND A NEW HOME TO CONSOLIDATE ITS TWO OFFICES IN KINGSTON.
THE C-A-S HAS JUST PURCHASED AN ABANDONED DAIRY PLANT ON DIVISION STREET, WHERE IT HOPES TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION ON A 14 MILLION DOLLAR BUILDING THIS FALL.
THE CHILDREN'S AGENCY SAYS IT WILL GIVE STAFF AND CLIENTS MORE SPACE AND PRIVACY.
Children's Aid Society on the move
Agency plans to merge operations into one location on Division Street
A vacant parcel of land on division Street that once housed a bustling commercial bakery and dairy has a new owner with a new vision for its future.
Frontenac Children's Aid Society recently acquired the 2.2-hectare property and plans to turn it into a north-end hub for children's services.
"As exciting as getting a new facility for the agency is," said executive director Ray Muldoon, "if we can create a service building for North Kingston -that's the cool thing about this."
The society has been negotiating to purchase the old Parmalat Dairy and Bakery, just north of Kirkpatrick Street and about a block from the new police station, for over a year. The deal closes on Feb. 28 and workers will begin demolishing the existing buildings almost immediately.
Muldoon said the plan is to consolidate children's aid services in a new 50,000- to 55,000-sq.-ft. building and possibly lease an additional 25,000 sq. ft. of space to community agencies. The society has held initial discussions with a family counselling service, a daycare and a women's group.
The cost of the new building is estimated at $13.5 million if the CAS is the only tenant and about $2-million higher if there are more.
The CAS currently operates from two separate offices in Kingston, one on Montreal Street and the other on John Counter Boulevard, just west of Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard. The agency's 150 staff members are divided between the two.
"The split campuses have obviously been a catalyst to this whole initiative," Muldoon said. "We're spending more money than we would like on building occupancy and we'd like to redirect
that money, to tell you the truth."
The new building, located on a major city artery and bus route, will make it easier for children, teens and families to take advantage of the agency's services, he said.
In 1997, the CAS moved from a building at Division and Johnson streets to its current location on Montreal Street, where it shares the building with the city's social services department. By the time the John Counter Boulevard office opened in 2003, the agency's staff had more than doubled to 150 from 65.
Muldoon said that the CAS is planning to sell its share of the Montreal Street building to the city, which is also desperate to have more office space.
Proceeds of the sale - estimated at $3 million to $4 million - will go toward the new building on Division Street. The agency will also apply for a grant from the Ministry of Child and Youth Services, Muldoon said.
The Montreal Street building that currently houses the CAS and social services was once totally owned by the city. Before the existing tenants moved in, it was the longtime home of Rideaucrest, the seniors home that moved to new quarters on Rideau Street in the mid-1990s.
Depending on the whim of local politicians, one potential hitch in the CAS's plans is the need for a zoning and official plan amendment. The Parmalat property is situated in a large industrial zone that stretches north to the 401.
City council recently rejected an application by the Lowe's company to build a retail store in the city's west end because it was proposed for a site that was also zoned industrial. City planners have expressed concerns about the dwindling supply of industrial land available for development in Kingston.
Lowe's has appealed the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board.
The new police building on Division Street is also located in an industrial zone but a zoning and an official plan amendment wasn't required because police service is considered a "public use."
It's not clear if the CAS enjoys the same protection under the planning rules.