Two community centres in TBM get government grants for repairs and upgrades

·3 min read

Two facilities in the Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) that are often a hubs of community activity will be receiving a funding boost to assist with infrastructure projects.

Through a federal-provincial funding partnership, the Beaver Valley Community Centre (BVCC) and the Marsh Street Centre will be receiving grant funding that will be directed to facility upgrades and repairs.

“These projects would not have been possible without this funding,” said TBM Mayor Alar Soever. “TBM retains a lower percentage of property tax revenue than any other municipality in the area, and thus has little funding available for these types of projects.”

The funding is part of the Investing in Canada Plan, which brings Ontario and Canada together to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensure health and safety and rebuild businesses.

Through this initiative, the BVCC will be receiving a total of $1,718,750, including $687,500 from the federal government, $572,859 from the province and $458,390 from the municipality or applicant.

The Marsh Street Centre in Clarksburg will see a total investment of $135,300, including $54,120 from the federal government, $45,095 from the province and $36,084 from the applicant.

“Infrastructure investment is vital for community well-being and development,” said Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson in a news release. “The projects being supported in our area will provide residents access to important recreational programs and services, and modern and accessible facilities for years to come.”

For the BVCC, the funding will predominantly be directed toward repairing and improving its parking lots – drainage issues will be identified and the entire lot surface will be redesigned and replaced at an estimated cost of $825,000.

“This represents the greatest need and benefit to the community. Currently, one-third of the lot is lost due to flooding and health and safety issues in the winter,” Soever explained.

A number of interior renovations are also planned, including replacing all end-of-life doors, windows and critical HVAC items, which is expected to total $100,000.

The municipality also plans to replace the building’s roof at a cost of $400,000.

A project contingency fund of $343,750 will be set aside as the projects move forward.

Soever added that the targeted items have been selected based on the BVCC’s Facility Condition Assessment Report and in consultation with facility operators.

At the Marsh Street Centre, a community-owned, non-profit organization managed by a group of dedicated volunteers, the funding will be directed toward five much-needed infrastructure projects:

Jan Seneshen, vice president and director of fundraising for the centre explained that part of this project will also include the installation of a small marquee, so upcoming events can be announced.

“None of these projects would have been possible without this grant or the help of the community,” Seneshen said.

“We have been able to generate very little operating income from our facility over the past year and have only been able to continue to operate thanks to the generosity of donors and sponsors and the little rent we have been able to generate between lockdowns. We are so grateful to all of our supporters,” she continued.

With funding now secured, the centre is on the hunt for contractors to carry out the work, something Seneshen says has become more difficult during the pandemic.

“The scarcity of contractors will affect this project as it has affected many other projects throughout this area,” she said. “We are looking for a designer for the exterior facade and for a contractor who can undertake the work to repair, repoint and possibly repaint our exterior to help upgrade the exterior facade of the building.”

Seneshen added that anyone interested in assisting the centre with this work is encouraged to reach out to the centre’s manager, Krista Voigt at marshstreetmanager@gmail.com

Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca