Repairs to the building may be too costly
KENSINGTON – Kensington Town Council is reluctant to allow a local businesswoman to set up operations in the vacant blacksmith building on the Kensington boardwalk until more information is gathered on costs to repair the building.
Town of Kensington crest. File Photo
Deborah Murphy proposed to council that she be allowed to use the building to open her Prince Edward Island Seafood Seasonings business. The proposal called for preserves and other Island-related goods to be sold as well.
The town would be responsible for getting the building up to code and making any necessary repairs required. The town would receive a percentage of the sales as payment for the use of the facility.
Council balked at the proposal citing the age and condition of the building as roadblocks to the proposal.
“There would be a tremendous amount of cleanup that would have to done before it could be operated out of,” said Kensington Mayor Gordon Coffin. “There would need to be an assessment as to what needs to be done, what repairs need to be done.”
Deputy Mayor Rowan Caseley liked the idea of allowing the business to move in but raised serious concerns over the potential cost the town would face in bring the building up to code.
“On the one hand I think it’s probably a good idea to be utilizing it,” the deputy mayor said. “The facility is not being used for anything. On the other hand, I often wished we could get the blacksmith shop (back) and have something to attract visitors to the tow, but that doesn’t seem that it’s ever going to take place. Having said that, if we’re going to have to spend $5,000 or $10,000, it’s kind of hard to say yes or no to this without having some kind of assessment of what the costs are going to be to repair the thing.”
Caseley said if it would only cost $500 then that’s one thing.
“But if it’s $5,000 (to make repairs) and it’s going to be 10 years for the return on investment, I’d sooner see the thing sit empty.”
Caseley also raised the question of the historic value the blacksmith shop might hold for the town.
“What feedback would we get from some of the historical people if we turn that into a retail shop instead of a blacksmith’s shop?” he asked.
Coffin said council needs to decide what the cost of repairs to the building would be. They would also have to decide if there’s a propensity to change the use or if it could complement blacksmith displays on the walls.
Council will be looking into the costs for repairs to the building before making a final decision on the proposal.