Cambridge council discusses independent auditor for Preston Springs demolition
KITCHENER -- Councillors for the city of Cambridge were discussing whether or not to bring in an independent auditor to look over how the Preston Springs demolition process went down.
Over two months after the dust settled, a motion was put forward at a council meeting Tuesday night to conduct a full external inquiry into the demolition of the former hotel.
This motion was withdrawn from consideration due to a lack of support.
"There was no public appetite for a public inquiry to spend anymore taxpayers' money to find out who was at fault for over 30 years of the Preston Springs demolition," said Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry.
The Cambridge branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario was the driving force behind the motion. They're accusing the city of allowing the protected heritage building to rot by neglect for decades prior to the emergency order for its demolition.
The ACO says that emergency orders are also flawed and the city did not follow protocol that could at have the building at the 11th hour.
"I do think that public inquiries are sometimes costly, but not always," said Karen Scott Booth of the ACO. "This one I think is pretty straightforward because we have already done a chronology and we have lots of records to support whoever is doing the inquiry."
At the Tuesday meeting, council also passed a motion to overhaul the city's heritage planning process. This includes hiring a new senior heritage planner and doubling the heritage preservation grant from $15,000 to $30,000.