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The Lunenburg Academy is a National Historic Site. Photo: Government of Canada.

Lunenburg reveals costs of retaining Lunenburg Academy

By Evan Taylor Oct 19, 2023 | 3:53 PM

Prior to the recent mayoral election in Lunenburg, the town council was exploring the possibility of selling the iconic Lunenburg Academy over concerns the associated costs put too much of a burden on the town’s finances.

During his winning campaign, now Mayor Jamie Myra indicated he would not move forward with any plans to sell the Academy until residents and he had a clearer idea of the financial implications and what keeping or selling it would mean for the town.

The Academy generates some revenue of it’s own through events and from tenants that come close to covering the typical expenses in a year, however, the aging building is in need of some large capital funding to keep it safe and open.

At the upcoming council meeting staff is set to present data that shows how much of taxpayers’ money would need to go towards these capital projects. The figures have already been released in the council meeting agenda package and can be seen in the table below.

If retained the average residential taxpayer would contribute annualy  on average $518 to capital costs over the next five years

This presentation is intended as a first step to inform residents of the cost of retaining the Academy so they can then communicate to the council whether that is a cost they feel is worthwhile.

In previous reports on the Academy, it was estimated that it cost the town’s taxpayers $2 million dollars in the last 10 years.

Mayor Jamie Myra following the release of the new information posted on social media to clarify that the figures shown in the table above do not take into account any government (Federal & Provincial) or grant money, which the Academy regularly receives.