The Prescott Journal - July 2, 2003
By Astrid Strader, Project Supervisor, Horticulturist, and Garden Designer
PRESCOTT Mayor Robert Lawn says he is not surprised how much the town has contributed to Prescott Blossoms.
According to figures prepared by Treasurer Laurie Kirkby, more than $161,000 in direct and in-kind expenditures have been incurred by the municipality as part of the Prescott Blossoms initiative which is receiving nearly $300,000 in direct funding from Human Resources Development Canada.
Some members of council indicated last week they were surprised by and concerned about the extent of the town's contribution to date.
Although Lawn told The Journal Monday he would not respond directly to their concerns, he did take issue with the suggestion the work done on the former Millennium Pathway came out of municipal coffers.
The mayor noted about $40,000 was raised through bingos and other fundraising activities. Kirkby listed the cost of pathway excavation, crushed stone, bed and paving at just over $36,000.
"The money did not come right off the top of the (town) budget," Lawn said.
The mayor went on to state the only unanticipated cost to the municipality involved having to cover GST costs associated with certain wages and benefits paid to Prescott Blossoms staff. Lawn said it was a misunderstanding; the town absorbed the cost (listed at $1,147) and the problem will not recur.
Lawn said he is disappointed that a very successful partnership involving the town and Prescott Blossoms may be criticized because of the municipality's role in supporting the project.
The mayor maintains the in-kind contributions by the town help ensure there is federal funding.
The entire community will continue to benefit from the program for many years to come, according to Lawn.