To the Editor:
It is with extreme dismay that we learned (The Review,August 21)) that the Ministry of Forests,Lands and Development is putting the Grist Mill operations up for a Request For Proposal (RFP) for 2015 rather than giving the present operator (Chris Mathieson) a long term contract. The kicker in this deal is that the proponent has to aim to make the operation “economically viable” and “self sufficient” which translated means that the government does not want to invest any dollars in the Grist Mill.
The Grist Mill has significant historical and cultural values to the community and offers a beautiful setting for a multitude of activities that cannot be measured solely in terms of a dollar value.The Grist Mill does have economic spinoff value to businesses in the valley from the many outside visitors who attend functions and spend money in the valley.
The present management has done a wonderful job in revitalizing the site over the past two years. Attendance has increased significantly and many wonderful events have been added to the operations of the Grist Mill in 2013.The music concert series featuring amazing talent is only one of the many examples of the changes that have occurred.
The least the government could do is visit the area and find out how important the Grist Mill is to the community and to take time to understand the impact the current management has on revitalizing the Grist Mill.
Our tax payers dollars are being utilized wisely to assist the operations at the Grist Mill and we as a community have every right to demand that the government rescind the RFP and give Chris Mathieson a long term five year renewable contract so that he and the staff at the Grist Mill can continue the work that they have begun.
It is incumbent of us to strongly protest, to write to our member of parliament, to the press and to protest in every possible way to demand immediate changes to this extremely shortsighted action.
Bob McAtamney, Cawston