TBM council approves $3,000 grant for Marsh Street Centre

The Marsh Street Centre will receive a $3,000 grant from the Town of The Blue Mountains.

At its meeting on Oct. 31, council approved the grant request from the popular Clarksburg community centre to help it continue to run the senior’s lunch-and-learn program.

Marsh Street Centre president Robert Brown and secretary/treasurer Michele Myrah attended the meeting to request a grant from the town for the program.

“This program has become very successful. It’s a very expensive program, we really do want to be able to continue on with this,” said Brown.

The Marsh Street Centre originally asked for $18,680 for the program from the town’s grants and donations committee. However, that request would have been approximately 40 per cent of the total grants and donations budget and a decision was made to approach council directly.

Brown said since the centre originally made the grant request, a grant opportunity has arisen through the federal New Horizons programs and they hope their application for funding is successful.

Myrah said the timing of the request is “awkward” and said if the New Horizons funding application is successful that Marsh Street Centre would continue the lunch and learn program, which costs about $600 per week, with that money and use any town grant for other needs.

“We don’t want to miss an opportunity, but we certainly don’t want to double dip,” she said of the two grant applications.

Coun. Andrea Matrosovs said it is important for the town to find a way to support the request.

“You work with other organizations to provide a venue for these events. We don’t have a performing arts facility here. We don’t have a Meaford Hall,” she said. “We want to ensure you can plan sustainably.”

Initially, council considered deferring the grant request for the new council to consider. However, Coun. Bill Abbotts suggested council support a grant amount that would support five or 10 weeks of the lunch-and-learn program, with council eventually settling on five weeks or $3,000.

“This is a vital contribution to what seniors can do here,” said Matrosovs, who seconded Abbotts' resolution of support.

In the end, council supported a general grant of $3,000 to the Marsh Street Centre to be used as the board of directors chooses.

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca