Kings County council votes to renegotiate drive-in lease

Kirk Starratt
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The Coldbrook Lions could have rent-free use of the Valley Drive-In property in Cambridge in the future.

The wheels are in motion to make the Coldbrook Lions Club’s use of the Valley Drive-In property rent-free in the future. It still needs council’s final approval, but the committee of the whole is recommending that the chief administrator renegotiate the lease for the Valley Drive-In property with the Coldbrook Lions Club.

Warden Diana Brothers, who brought the matter to the June 17 committee of the whole session, said the Coldbrook Lions play a huge role in the community. For example, she said, the club provided almost $10,000 in the past year to help residents in need keep their heating oil tanks filled and to provide people with eye glasses, as well as supporting many other worthwhile causes., including Camp Brigadoon, the Valley Regional Hospital Foundation and the hearing impaired.

Read more about the drive-in here.

Brothers said the Lions currently pay $7,500 a year in rent to the Waterville Airport Cooperative Limited for the drive-in theatre property, as well as $3,400 in property taxes. As part of the lease renegotiation, the Lions would be invited to apply for a property tax exemption as a charitable organization. Brothers said she would like to see the lease renegotiated so the charitable group could have use of the municipally owned land rent-free.

“That would fill a whole lot of tanks and buy a whole lot of glasses,” Brothers said.

She told council the Lions would also like correspondence from the municipality stating that the property won’t be considered for a potential expansion of the nearby Michelin tire plant in the future. 

Area Coun. Bob Best said he hoped council would vote in favour of the motion, as this would mean more than $10,000 going back into the community.

 Chief administrative officer Tom MacEwan said this matter has been discussed with the Waterville Airport Cooperative Limited and it would be unlikely that there would be any change this year. Council has voted to close the Waterville airport as of Sept. 30.

 Coun. Pauline Raven pointed out that the subject land parcel is larger than the approximately 10 acres used for the drive-in. She said she’d prefer to see a shorter-term lease negotiated with the Coldbrook Lions, at least for the interim, “with so many balls in the air.”

Coun. Jim Winsor moved an amendment to renegotiate the lease with the Lions Club for $1, to take affect after the Waterville Airport Cooperative Limited leaves the airport property. However, there was no seconder for the amendment. The main motion to direct MacEwan to renegotiate the lease with the Coldbrook Lions carried.

Organizations: Coldbrook Lions Club, Waterville Airport Cooperative, Kings County council Valley Regional Hospital Foundation

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Recent comments

  • Fred W
    June 20, 2014 - 12:28

    its seems like this article is not written clearly for people to understand what is actually going on regarding this situation. I was at the meeting in the public gallery and all Councillors except the usual trouble makers wanted to give the Lions free rent for the drive in because they give back so much to the community. As I said, the regular trouble makers wanted to charge the motion so that the Airport Co-Op does not loose any of the money that is now going to them from the Lions Club. This is what actually happened, and I question Councillor Windsor if he has some type of conflict of interest or if he only supports rich people in making more money. The Lions Club helps low income people and he did not want to support that, shame on Councillor Windsor AGAIN!!!! I recommend some of the news papers writers either take a course or understand what is going on before they write the articles for the newspaper!

  • concerned resident and taxpayer
    June 18, 2014 - 18:19

    Now let me get this right ? In exchange for the loss of 3 longstanding , established.and self-sustaining businesses that drew people from all over the world and provided employment and multiple spin offs while being a tremendous asset to the community,, we will end up getting a charity movie house (no offence meant to the Lions) that doesn't pay tax ??? Seems like Kings County Council has a highly unusual business and developmental strategy for growth and expansion in the County of Kings ?

    • Daphne
      June 19, 2014 - 17:30

      Kings County Council is condemning us to derelict buildings, rotting old hangers and unkempt land that used to be a thriving and exciting business. Now they promise they will leave the second local landmark alone and not charge a dime for it? Did these council members drive off in a clown car?

  • Gerorge M
    June 18, 2014 - 14:42

    Marjorie do you not understand, they are going to let the Lions club be rent free and not have to pay anything!

  • Marjorie kane
    June 18, 2014 - 12:27

    I can't believe there was no seconder to the amendment to let the Lions Club pay $1.00 to lease the land from the county after the airport leaves. Come on council look at the Lions Clubs record and see how many people they have helped.......and do the right thing. Please.

  • john
    June 18, 2014 - 11:03

    Why is the Lions Club paying rent to Waterville Airport Co. for land that the county owns?

  • Terry
    June 18, 2014 - 10:06

    This is one of the best ideas I have heard of in a very long time. The Lions deserve this for all the wonderful things they do for our community. Time unleash our inner lions!