Nova Scotia

Repairs to former Parrsboro town hall could cost more than $800K

The Municipality of Cumberland wants public feedback on potential repairs for the former Parrsboro town hall.

Municipal officials want public input by July 10

The former Parrsboro town hall needs major renovations. (Google Maps)

The Municipality of Cumberland wants public feedback on a potential repair bill for the former Parrsboro town hall.

According to a recent report, the building needs $800,000 in renovations. The list includes work to the roof, furnace, wiring and windows.

The fire alarm needs to be updated and parts of the foundation require maintenance.

A councillor for the area said he wouldn't be surprised if the total is double the estimate.

"The building was never properly taken care of," said Coun. Norm Rafuse. "Parrsboro doesn't need any more large bills right now."

The building dates back to the mid-1800s and was originally used as the home of Rev. William King, an Anglican minister.

According to local historians, it is one of the first dozen buildings in the town. It is also located in a prominent spot.

Mixed feelings

"It's right in the heart of the community, and kind of has been the heart of the community in many ways," said Harriet McCready, president of the Parrsborough Shore Historical Society. "The building is iconic."

McCready acknowledges that "safety comes first" and said people in Parrsboro have mixed feelings about what to do.

Municipal officials want public comments submitted by July 10. Council will decide after that what to do with the building.

"We need input from the public, but I don't think we're very anxious to sink a whole lot of money in renovating," said Warden Alison Gillis.

Gillis said other options that could be considered are selling the building as it is or demolishing it.

Longtime resident Ed Gilbert worries about the look of any new building if the former town hall is demolished. He would like the architecture to suit the rest of the community.

McCready said even if the building does come down "there has to be some recognition of the historic value of the site."

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