I found it puzzling that some City Councilors and members of the public are so euphoric about Council’s decision to retain ownership of Auchmar, the historically significant property on Hamilton Mountain.
Truth be told, it wasn’t a difficult choice to make since nobody from the private sector was willing to make a legitimate offer for the property.
Of course, there are developers who are interested in the Auchmar property, but their plans usually involve demolition of some or all of the historically significant buildings and that’s a non-starter.
So, the city retains ownership by default , which means that taxpayers are still on the hook for the upkeep.
I know that many heritage advocates say it shouldn’t be about the money, and I understand and I share their passion for these wonderful historic buildings, but Auchmar is badly in need of significant repairs.
The latest proposed partner to revive Auchmar, the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Trust made an enticing presentation to Council about what they’d like to see at Auchmar, but the plan is long on good will and short on money.
The challenge for the City is not finding a tenant for Auchmar, it’s finding a tenant that can pay the bills and maybe generate a little revenue and frankly, we’re not there yet .