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City provides grant for urgent roof repairs at lawn bowling club

Council pulls from COVID-19 emergency relief fund to cover part of estimated $12K project at Commerce Road facility
lawn bowling canada day clubhouse new
The clubhouse of the Orillia Lawn Bowling Club. Supplied photo

The city has found a creative way to partially fund roof repairs at the Orillia Lawn Bowling Club.

The club wrote a letter to council in June, asking for $6,200 to cover part of the bill for repairs to the clubhouse roof at the group’s 5 Commerce Rd. location.

The request was initially declined by Mayor Steve Clarke, who responded by saying the lease agreement — which sees the club pay the city $1 a year — states the club is responsible for all maintenance and repairs.

Council found a way around that at its meeting Monday.

Coun. Pat Hehn noted the club tried to raise money and secure grants for the repairs. It received permission from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to divert $6,000 from a grant it received earlier to the roof project, but needed another $6,200, and fast.

If the project were to be put off until next year, the roof could collapse, Hehn warned.

Coun. Tim Lauer also went to bat for the club, which he pointed out has been operating in Orillia since 1986.

“They’ve been good tenants for all those years, maintaining the building as best they could,” he said.

While he supported providing the grant to the club, Clarke cautioned council about setting a precedent by going against the terms of the lease agreement.

However, he noted, “this hardship is because of the pandemic,” as there has been little income for the club.

That’s when council decided it could provide a one-time grant of $6,200, with the money coming from the city’s COVID-19 emergency relief fund.

That fund has been used to assist other organizations, Lauer noted, referring to the club’s request as a “small ask.”

The roof repairs are expected to be finished in the fall.