Three Rivers returns oil tank and reserve fund to Heatherdale 4-H club

·2 min read

THREE RIVERS – The Heatherdale Community Club (HCC) now has what it needs to get the local 4-H club back inside its long-standing home and to fix it up.

"Hopefully in the next couple months we'll be up and running and we'll go from there," co-founder Laurie Loane said in an interview with The Guardian.

The Heatherdale Hall has been home to a thriving 4-H youth club since the 1950s. Hall ownership was up in the air early last year, leading Three Rivers to lock it up and remove the full but aging oil tank due to safety concerns.

Loane helped the HCC take ownership of the hall and in January had asked Three Rivers to return what was taken, as well as to transfer a reserve fund set up by the hall's former owners before Three Rivers' 2018 amalgamation.

She received support from several councillors on the request, so it was recently decided to provide the HCC with a grant for $3,955 to get a new, full oil tank and to reactivate the power. As well, during a committee of council meeting on March 22, it was decided to put the $11,500 reserve fund toward hall restorations.

For the oil tank, Loane will make the necessary purchases then be reimbursed by Three Rivers. She initially believed the reserve fund had about $20,000 available but discovered that wasn't the case following her request, she said.

Regardless, she's pleased to finally be working toward reopening the hall for 4-H meetings, which have already started in a temporary location. She has also been applying for grants to secure additional funding toward restorations, one of which the HCC was awarded.

"We've come a long way," she said. "We're happy that we had the support of some of the council."

Coun. Ronnie Nicholson was among those on council who believed supporting the hall would help the community to continue growing. He also believes that Loane is the right person to oversee its restoration.

"I'm very confident that she'll use this reserve fund to bring this hall back to its previous glory," he said.

Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian