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Golden Age Club to get rent-free usage of building

Fort Malden Golden Age Centre Logo
Council votes to give Golden Age Club rent-free usage.

The Fort Malden Golden Age Club is back at their 179 Victoria St. S. location and now will be able to use the building rent-free.

Council has directed administration to negotiate the terms of use for the building located at 179 Victoria with the Fort Malden Golden Age Club (FMGAC), to be brought back to Council for approval of the user agreement subject to the current needs of the group and all applicable town policies. Town council further directed administration to create programming and opportunities for 179 Victoria to be rented for use as directed by council in accordance with the most current User Fee By-Law and Schedule of Fees as approved by council.

Council delegated the authority to the CAO to sign and execute any such agreements, contracts, purchase orders and or procurement contracts as may be required to fully execute and provide increased programming for town facilities including 179 Victoria, in accordance with the Town’s procurement policy, satisfactory in technical content to the director of parks, facilities and recreation and in financial content to the Town’s Chief Financial Office.

An amendment to have administration show a zero balance in the budget was also passed.

FMGAC president Dorothy Thrasher said they are a non-profit group that originally helped to construct the building in 1978. She said the club sold bricks and went door-to-door to cover costs the town had to pick up, though she said $133,000 of the $158,000 it cost to build the building was covered through federal and provincial grants.

“The land was also donated by H. Murray Smith. There was no cost to the land,” she said, adding the former mayor was also the first donor. Then-councillor Rose Kelly also supported the seniors, with Thrasher noting “that building was supposed to be ours for life.”

The club has supported the town in many ways, including supporting special events to buying drapes and tables, the latter coming when they were moved to the Libro Centre.

“The town did not supply that stuff. We did,” said Thrasher.

Donations were being made to the town, she added, but stopped when the club no longer knew what the money was being used for. The FMGAC was moved from rooms to hallways while at the Libro Centre and even had belongings moved and their fridge's locks cut.

“We've contributed to the betterment of the town,” she added.

Councillor Linden Crain said council has invested in the building by converting it back with Thrasher stating they want to stay in the building permanently.

Councillor Don McArthur said he voted to waive the fees when it came to council during budget deliberations and wanted to do so again. McArthur believed Thrasher made the club's case well. Fees will be waived for the duration of this council term.

“I echo Councillor McArthur's view,” said Deputy Mayor Chris Gibb. “We need a place for the seniors to call their  own.”

Council had the building rehabbed, Gibb added.

Part of the motion was to re-name the building to be the H. Murray Smith Community & Seniors Centre, and while no one on council objected, McArthur pointed out a previous council motion that S. Ralph McCurdy also has to be honoured should a track not return to H. Murray Smith Centennial Park. Pouget noted money has been set aside in 2025 and suggested tennis courts or other amenities still be used to honour McCurdy. Input from the heritage committee will be sought.

Councillor Molly Allaire added she was pleased council is repairing the building as “everything seniors have done is for the benefit of our community.”

By Ron Giofu


Amherstburg Golden Age Club to get rent-free usage of building

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