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Wilmot council discusses Prime Minister statues, Schneider family land donation at meeting

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The Township of Wilmot is continuing to discuss what to do with their statues of Prime Ministers and how to handle the Schneider family land donation dispute.

Council was presented with a report from staff on a permanent plan for the halted Prime Ministers' Path project during a Monday night meeting.

In the report was how much it has cost the township to keep the statutes in storage.

"The cost of this storage is $661 a month and we've spent about $23,000 in between 2020 and 2024," said Sharon Chambers, CAO of the Township of Wilmot.

The statues have been in storage at an undisclosed location ever since the Prime Ministers' Path project was cancelled by council in 2021. 

Before this decision, the Sir John A. Macdonald statue was repeatedly vandalized, as members of the public voiced their concern about the historical ties to residential schools.

In January of this year, council decided to reconsider the project.

"We are aware the storage costs are concerning, but what will be the financial and social cost of not listening to the opinion of those with different opinions and histories as ourselves?" a delegate said.

Council says they will look into other storage locations on municipal property, but also would like a report that looks into the establishment of a working group, or explore alternative approaches of community engagement.

They voted to continue the conversation around the project at their March 25 meeting.

SCHNEIDER FAMILY LAND DONATION

Wilmot council says they are working with the transportation team at the City of Waterloo to work on an agreement regarding the Schneider family land donation.

Since 2020, the Schneiders have been trying to donate over 230 acres of land in Wilmot Township that borders Waterloo.

The deal hit a snag when the township decided in order for the donation to go through, the property would need a parking lot and it would need to be paid for by Rare or the Schneiders.

Council says a report is being developed that will be made public on Feb. 28. It will be up for consideration at the March 4 council meeting.

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