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Pricey rental eyed for Lt.-Gov.

<p>What kind of house could you rent for $6,000 a month? The provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewalis considering renting a house for Lieutenant-Governor Mayann Francisuntil Government House reopens in 2009.</p>

What kind of house could you rent for $6,000 a month?


The provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is considering renting a house for Lieutenant-Governor Mayann Francis until Government House reopens in 2009.


Francis’ future digs must be on the peninsula with space to host visiting dignitaries overnight, said department spokeswoman Cathy MacIsaac. Her dining room must be able to hold 10 to 12 people; her main floor has to be large enough to host a “medium-sized” group.


The rent? Anywhere from $5,000 to $6,000 a month.


“I think they may have looked at a few (houses) but I don’t think it’s ever gotten serious,” MacIsaac said.
Realtor Marianna Cowan said there’s not a lot on the market right now that would suit the Queen’s representative.


One 6,600-square-foot home 830 Young Avenue, with seven bedrooms and four bathrooms would be perfect, Cowan said. But with a list price of $2.69 million — a monthly mortgage of about $14,000 — it’s a bit too pricey.


“To me, that’s something that would be just fabulous for her. But that’s a lot of money,” Cowan said.
The $5.7 million renovation of Government House was just beginning when Francis was appointed in 2006. The province agreed to pay a $6,000 monthly allowance to cover the mortgage and expenses at her Summer Street condo. That’s the money it would allocate to rent if a house is found.


Critics say Francis should be able to entertain at home, at her Maritime Centre office or at Province House. Stephen Bornais, Francis’ spokesman, said it’s been hard to find space. The Red Chamber at Province House has been unavailable because it was getting new carpet, and is now busy because the legislature is in session. Instead, Francis’ office has been renting ballrooms, using space at universities or at CFB Halifax.


–rachel.boomer@metronews.ca


 
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