Original Published on Sep 19, 2022 at 07:44

By Rhythm Rathi, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

St. George, New Brunswick council has knocked down the idea of having a town monument and time capsule for now due to the estimated cost of the project. 

Town Mayor John Detorakis and a few councillors had proposed the project to commemorate the Town of St. George ahead of its upcoming amalgamation, according to Jason Gaudet, the town’s chief administrative officer and clerk. St. George is expected to amalgamate with Blacks Harbour and surrounding communities this November.

In order to turn the monument and time capsule idea into a reality, Gaudet said the town approached a few sculptors for ideas and cost estimations.

St. George council learned at its Monday night meeting the estimate had come back at $18,450 for the sculpture and time capsule, drawing concern from some members of council.

“I personally would think that the Town of St. George residents would probably shoot me as a councillor if I say that, yea go ahead and spend $18,000 for a time capsule,” said Coun. Nancy Coulton. “I am sorry, that’s just my opinion.”

She said she thought that council was talking about putting a time capsule together made up of rust-free material, filled with items particular to St. George along with a little plaque explaining the town’s history before municipal reform and naming all the mayors.

“Thousand dollars and we’re done,” she said. 

Coulton said she couldn’t support the idea of spending $18,000 to hire a sculptor and pay for his expenses, including accommodations and $3,000 worth of tools when the town could go to Smet Monuments in St. Stephen and ask them to make something for the town, as the company does work on granite and graveyard memorials.

“I wanna know what kind of tools (this sculptor) is getting for $3,000 because I’ll go out and take my little hammer and put a hole in a piece of granite,” she said. “No way, I don’t wanna have anything to do with $18,000 for a time capsule.” 

Detorakis asked Gaudet a series of questions about the project and its cost. He then asked council if it had any other ideas around tourism where the funds could be allocated. Coulton suggested building a shelter next to a splash pad outside a nearby hotel to provide shade for kids playing outside in hot summers or for people to change their baby’s diapers.

“To me, that would be a tourist attraction,” she said.

After hearing no support for the estimated cost of the project, Detorakis said council would put the idea away for the time being until there are future talks about the time capsule in the upcoming weeks.

Coulton said she is looking for a more “financially responsible” project.

Gaudet told Telegraph-Journal Wednesday that the idea of having a sculpture has been put away for now and the town may later cost out a “basic time capsule.” He also said that due to the nearing municipal reform, it would be better that the funds be spent toward rejuvenation and maintenance of other tourist attractions around town like the parks, the splash pad, trails or the baseball diamond.

Before moving on to the next item at Monday’s council meeting, Detorakis asked Gaudet about how much the Pennfield air base memorial was costing to be built using granite.

To which Gaudet replied, “About $250,000.”

This item reprinted with permission from   Telegraph-Journal   Saint John, New Brunswick
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