Financial advantage to keeping Thunder Bay conservatory and greenhouses together
Manager at Centennial Park Conservatory in Etobicoke, Ont., says same location can save on operating costs
The Friends of the Thunder Bay Conservatory will make a deputation at Tuesday night's city budget meetings.
The group is concerned about a proposal that the conservatory's greenhouses be demolished this year, but not rebuilt before 2017, and then possibly at a different location.
There could be financial advantages to keeping the conservatory and greenhouses together, said Arefaine Gebreselassie, the person in charge of plant production at the Centennial Park Conservatory in Etobicoke, Ont., citing a probable reduction in operational costs.
"In terms of heating, in terms of maintaining the greenhouses themselves, you don't have to have two sources of heat in different locations, you will have the same boilers doing the same job for all the greenhouses," said Gebreselassie.
There are also savings on staffing costs, because all people will be working at one site, and not travelling between separate locations, he said.
Overall, it's important to consider the role the greenhouses will play in the future, Gebreselassie advised.
If the prime role of the greenhouses is to grow plants for display in the conservatory, it's best if they're attached to it, since this decreases the number of plants that could be lost due to the stress incurred of moving from location to location, he said.
"If [the greenhouses'] main job is to produce the annuals or plants for the parks outside, and they play a limited role towards supplying plants to the conservatory, I guess it's okay to have them in a separate place," Gebreselassie said.
"But you have to expect that the operational cost will be slightly higher than when you have them together."