Societys lease to be extended by five years

Centre Wellington’s land use agreement with the Fergus Agriculture Society will likely be extended by another five years.

In a report to Centre Wellington’s committee of the whole Monday, Director of Parks and Recreation Andy Goldie said the previous agreement ended last year.

The agreement covers the use of the Fergus Sportsplex and grounds for the Fergus Fall Fair. He noted that this year is the fair’s 175th anniversary.

“We’re excited about that and hope we have good weather to get the folks out.”

Goldie said there were discussions with the agriculture society executive over the past few months to renegotiate some of the terms and conditions. He said he and the society are in agreement to the proposed changes.

“Most of the changes are housekeeping.”

Goldie said the society still signs the standard rental agreement each year. In the last agreement, the society had the right to rent Pad B in the arena for certain activities.

Goldie said it appears that space is no longer needed. He explained there has been more use of the outdoor space and the barns on the site.

He added because of the additional cost for that rental, Pad B has not been used for a number of years.

Goldie added that the rental is set at $3,500 annually for the term of the contract.

He agreed the normal rental fee is higher, “but due to the historical significance within the community and supporting the farm community, council’s decision was for this fee.”

He noted discussions with other, larger renters of the site for special events were also supportive of the move, given the focus of the organization.

Goldie said that in the past, council has provided a $1,500 subsidy to put up lights at the track.

However since the municipality has given up profit sharing from the event, which is a rough equivalent to that amount, the society will cover that cost.

At the same time, Goldie hopes long term plans would include installation of permanent lights for the track, but a determination has to be made so that lights will not hinder other uses of the site.

The committee approved the recommendation to enter into a lease agreement with the Fergus Agricultural Society for the use of the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex, Fergus facilities for the Fergus Fall Fair, and forward that recommendation to council for approval.