Town con­sid­ers buy­ing Shearstown Lions Club

Op­tion avail­able to pur­chase at no cost to Bay Roberts

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The Town of Bay Roberts has agreed to rent the Shearstown Lions Club at the low cost of $1 for a full year. In tak­ing on full re­spon­si­bil­ity for the build­ing, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity will look to see whether it’s in the town’s best in­ter­ests to pur­chase the build­ing at the same price.

The Town of Bay Roberts has agreed to rent the Shearstown Lions Club at a cost of $1 for one year, with an op­tion also on the ta­ble for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to pur­chase it.

Ac­cord­ing to a let­ter sent to the town last De­cem­ber, a meet­ing was held Nov. 29, 2016, with all club mem­bers present vot­ing to of­fer the build­ing to the town. Sam Wells, gov­er­nor for District N4m for the Lions Club of New­found­land and Labrador, also at­tended the meet­ing.

When the is­sue was first brought up at its Dec. 13 pub­lic meet­ing, coun­cil de­cided to get its re­cre­ation com­mit­tee and town lawyer to re­view the pro­posal.

The bot­tom line with the Shearstown Lions Club is they, like many other vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tions, are hav­ing prob­lems with mem­ber­ship.

— Mayor Philip Wood

At the March 14 coun­cil meet­ing, re­cre­ation direc­tor Ian Flynn rec­om­mended giv­ing the pro­posal a trial run through a rental agree­ment. He noted there are still some land is­sues that need to be in­ves­ti­gated fur­ther, and the one- year rental would give the town a chance to as­sess the build­ing’s po­ten­tial with­out fully com­mit­ting to own­er­ship.

“That al­lows us time to work on the land is­sues, work on de­ter­min­ing the true cost of any re­pairs that are needed to be done to the build­ing, and it will al­low the Town of Bay Roberts … to fig­ure out if it’s a vi­able op­tion that we can even use the build­ing on a reg­u­lar ba­sis over a (oneyear) pe­riod,” Flynn told coun­cil mem­bers at the meet­ing.

“The bot­tom line with the Shearstown Lions Club is they, like many other vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tions, are hav­ing prob­lems with mem­ber­ship,” Mayor Philip Wood told The Com­pass in an in­ter­view last week. “They are find­ing it more dif­fi­cult to keep up the build­ing and to keep it go­ing as it re­lates to heat and light, in­surance and do­ing dif­fer­ent func­tions.”

If the town de­cides a year from now it wants to pur­chase the build­ing, it will be able to do so at a cost of $1. The hope would be it could serve as a venue for town events or even gen­er­ate some rev­enue through book­ings.

“The build­ing ob­vi­ously is older now, and we want to have a look at the build­ing to see the ex­tent — what re­pairs will need to go into it and all of those kinds of things,” said Wood.

The rental agree­ment comes into ef­fect April 1.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/TC ME­DIA

The Town of Bay Roberts will take over the Shearstown Lions Club for at least the next year, with the op­tion there for the town to pur­chase the build­ing if it suits the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s needs.

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