Se­niors Club could be forced out

Both par­ties seek le­gal ad­vice in dis­pute over Lions Club build­ing space

The Beacon (Gander) - - News - BY MIKE MOORE SPE­CIAL TO THE BEA­CON

The Gan­der Se­niors 50+ Club and Gan­der Lions Club are strug­gling for po­si­tion re­gard­ing use of the Lions Club build­ing for meet­ings and events.

The 50+ club says it has had an agree­ment with the Lions since 2009 to use the build­ing ev­ery Thurs­day of the month and the first Tues­day of ev­ery month, ex­clu­sively.

Ac­cord­ing to 50+ Club vi­cepres­i­dent Re­nata Oman, the agree­ment worked fine un­til re­cently, when the build­ing’s op­er­a­tors be­gan tak­ing rental book­ings for use of the space dur­ing the 50+ Club’s al­lot­ted time.

In ad­di­tion, the 50+ Club is ex­pected to cover 50 per cent of the salt and snow-clear­ing bill dur­ing win­ter de­spite only us­ing the build­ing for five days out of each month, she said.

Oman feels the club is be­ing bul­lied out of its meet­ing place, although she said it was the 50+ Club’s in­volve­ment that helped the Lions up­grade their fa­cil­ity.

“New Hori­zons (for Se­niors Pro­gram) has given us over $75,000 worth of grants, which we could not have got­ten with­out the Lions, and the Lions could not have got­ten with­out us,” Oman said.

“With that money we have put in a brand-new kitchen. We also have two new bath­rooms fixed up so that we can have them wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble for the se­niors, we have had ramps put in the front and the back, and a deck in the back with the grants we have re­ceived.”

Oman al­leges the Lions Club be­gan to put the squeeze on her club over is­sues such as clean­ing the fa­cil­ity af­ter ev­ery use. How­ever, she said the 50+ club of­fered sev­eral so­lu­tions to the prob­lem and all were met with re­sis­tance from the build­ing’s op­er­a­tors.

“We don’t have ac­cess to the closet where mops are stored,” said Oman. “If there’s a spillage when we’re us­ing the club, we’re not able to clean it up now be­cause they said we’re no longer able to use their clean­ing sup­plies.

“If we could use their closet, we could have our own mop and sup­plies, but we have no place to store them. Now they’re telling us it’s a com­mer­cial build­ing and we can be let go any time.”

The is­sue has now be­come a le­gal mat­ter. Both clubs have sought ad­vice from lawyers and a new agree­ment has been tabled by the Lions Club, but the win­dow to sign the new agree­ment is short. The Gan­der Se­niors 50+ Club was given one week to come to a de­ci­sion – a week that ended March 26.

Oman says it’s some­thing they sim­ply can­not sign un­til the club dis­cusses the agree­ment dur­ing their of­fi­cial meet­ing in April.

Gan­der Lions Club pres­i­dent Perry Kieley de­clined com­ment when con­tacted for an in­ter­view.

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