The Gym Sends Delegation To Town Council

·2 min read

Gwen Senner and Starr Timmons from The Swan Hills Fitness & Lifestyle Association (SHFLA), the non-profit organization behind The Gym, presented information to Town Council on Jul. 13 outlining The Gym’s need to relocate and to ask for assistance in this pursuit. A sizable group of roughly 20 – 30 people also attended in support of The Gym.

The Gym has been in its current location since 2016. The building owners have not charged the organization rent during this time, with the SHFLA covering the utilities to the building and the operational expenses related to The Gym. The building has now been sold, and the SHFLA cannot meet the financial requirements of the new owner. They have found space to store their equipment until they can secure a new building.

The SHFLA has contacted the owners of different buildings in Swan Hills, inquiring about availability and prospective rental requirements. One possible candidate is the building at 4611 Federated Rd., but the rent and building expenses are considerably higher than what The Gym has been paying, and its current income will not support these costs. The SHFLA is requesting an operating donation of $10,000 to $12,000 with the possibility of making this an annual operating budget from the Town. Ideally, the SHFLA would like to see a building dedicated to The Gym, whether The Town or the SHFLA owned it. While the SHFLA has not been fundraising since moving into its current location, they plan to start fundraising and apply for grants to help to cover The Gym’s operating costs.

Members of the community voiced their support of The Gym and its importance to them as residents of Swan Hills. Some members went on to suggest or imply that the Town should take on The Gym as an extension of the pool or even buy a building to house it. One member even suggested that the Town could shut down another facility or facilities to divert those funds and possibly the building to The Gym. Mayor Craig Wilson explained that the issue of whether to build or buy a new facility would be a more significant decision that would require much more input and engagement from the residents of Swan Hills.

The Town does not have an unoccupied space to offer for The Gym’s use at this time. The yearly budget for the Town is compiled in the fall for the coming year, meaning that the 2022 budget was passed last fall. Town Administration will analyze the current budget to search for funds that could possibly be used towards a donation to The Gym in the short term and encourage the SHFLA to apply for non-profit funding through the Town in the fall when next year’s budget will be compiled and finalized.

Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting