Council revises list of groups given free event use of arena, community centres

MAPLETON – Council has voted to remove the Mapleton fire department from, and include the craft show committee in, the list of service groups and minor sports teams to receive free use of the PMD Arena and Maryborough Community Centre for events on Dec. 10.

Councillor Michael Martin voiced concern over which groups were included.

Following council’s initial discussion the township posted a press release that listed which service clubs and minor sports teams would receive the exemption.

Among them was the Drayton and Moorefield firefighter associations.

“The Mapleton Fire Department is already exempt because we don’t bill departments within the township, but the Chamber of Commerce and a historical society, were just question marks I have,” Martin said.

Discussion also led to changing how groups receiving free use of the facility were qualified.

“I believe if my memory serves me that the thought was  that the groups that we’re acknowledging on this list are groups who fundraise for local initiatives and  all of  the money goes back into the local community. And this is council’s way of supporting those fundraisers. It’s not just any local nonprofit, that qualifies,” he said.

Initially council discussed waiving fees for Moorefield Optimist Club, Drayton Kinsmen and  Drayton Kinettes, Drayton Rotary, 100 Women Who Care  Rural Wellington, Community Craft Show, Mapleton Chamber of Commerce, Drayton Minor Hockey, Drayton Moorefield Minor Ball, Moorefield Athletic Association and Drayton District Figure Skating.

In the press release the township also listed Drayton Rotary, Maryborough Optimist, the Drayton and Moorefield firefighters association, Optimist club of Alma and Palmerston Hospital GALA Committee.

One of the groups Martin questioned was the Mapleton Chamber of Commerce.

“I brought them up,” said Mayor Gregg Davidson. “They are there for our local businesses and if they want to have a chamber breakfast or any event that is bringing the businesses together, they need a location … and I think the chamber [is] a good addition to this list.”

Davidson confirmed that the fire department already uses the facilities for events for free.

“I think originally we were talking about the fire associations – I don’t know if that is all part and parcel or if they were separate. So I think it was associations not the fire department that we had initially thought about putting on here,” he said.

Staff had discussions with a representative of the craft association that was also on the original list.

“They are not a not for profit … After the conversations, they’re okay with coming to council and requesting it once they get a supporter, being a local group to support them, or go nonprofit before they come to us,” said Davidson.

“I think I am likely the one that caused the confusion here with the press release when I added not for profit,” said CAO Manny Baron.

“I guess what I really should have put in there is service groups and minor sports and exclude the not for profit description,” he said.

Ottens said that to her the important qualifier is whether a group contributes back to the community.

“Like a church is a nonprofit but if my church is going to do something at the hall odds are it’s for its own benefit,” said Ottens.

“So that’s how the Historical Society the 100 women care, and those other groups, they’re not service  clubs but they contribute back to the community,” she said.

“So that’s how they ended up on the list. So that’s the distinction. I guess as people start asking, can we be added, but that’s kind of the line in the sand that you have to draw.”

Martin agreed with Ottens.

“I’d be perfectly comfortable adding the craft show committee. We specifically talked about it at the last meeting added in its current form, however it is constituted I am perfectly fine with that. I was just confused the last two weeks trying to recall  which groups we had pushed,” said Martin.

“The only change I would suggest would be just scratching off maybe fire from this list,” he said.

However, Davidson said he had an issue with the community craft show.

“Not because of what they do, because we don’t know what their name is. They don’t have a specific name that they use, which makes it difficult to distinguish,” he said.

Council voted to address the group as Community Craft Show Committee care of Mary Miller.

Councillor Dennis Craven asked whether council should include the Alma Optimist Club. Davidson argued against it, saying the Alma Optimist Club already had its own hall for events.