CORNWALL, Ontario - The president of a popular senior citizens club in Cornwall says his members may find themselves homeless if more municipal funding isn't secured.
Ray Lapointe of the Seaway Senior Citizens Centre told Seaway News a decision earlier this month by the city's budget steering committee to cap its 2013 funding at $15,000 will mean it loses out on $57,000 from the province.
"We need at least $30,000 in municipal funding to access the funding from the province," said Lapointe.
The money will be used to offset operating costs incurred by the club, which employs one full-time person, as well as a part-timer.
Lapointe said while the club has some money set aside to operate for a short period of time without the added government funding, it won't last long.
"If the funding ceases it will be extremely difficult for the club to continue functioning," he said, adding it could fold completely.
The club generates some revenue via membership fees, and also charges members for specific activities.
Lapointe said Seaway Seniors is hopeful the city's budget committee will reconsider its decision. The budget committee will meet March 27 to officially adopt the 2013 budget.
While a slim majority of councillors have agreed to cap, or outright cut, funding for outside agencies, there are some who believe the committee erred.
“These agencies do work that we need them to do – that we would have to do if they weren’t doing,” Coun. Bernadette Clement said at the time.
But not everyone agreed.
“There are senior clubs in this community that don’t request funding and they operate quite effectively," said Coun. Glen Grant said before the committee voted for the cuts. “They’ll just have to do like we do…find different ways to do things.