Saint John council may close North End community centre

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Saint John Common Council is considering closing the Somerset Community Centre in the city’s North End at the end of May.

The centre runs programs for youth during afternoons, evenings and the summer, but has seen a decline in users in recent years.

The move would save the city $99,000 a year.

At its peak, the Somerset Community Centre saw more than 100 children a night, but now only around 10 children show up.

Ward 2 Coun. John MacKenzie said children affected by the closure will still have access to youth programs.

"The kids that need those programs or want those programs will get them," he said.

A report to council identifies seven other youth agency programs within a one kilometre radius of the Somerset Community Centre.

That doesn’t include the new YMCA set to open next door this November.

Kathy Floyd lives in the nearby Crescent Valley community and is worried some families won’t be able to  use the new YMCA.

"There's going to be a lot of people that won't be able to afford to access the Y," she said.

"The community centre is something that has always been there for them."

The Somerset Community Centre is one of six community centres in the city.