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Mayor clears up confusion around senior centre issue

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Some Sister Kennedy Centre users have been very vocal with their concerns around its potential relocation to the town's recently vacated daycare facility.

But Mayor June Caul told the Times she would like to stress that no decision has yet been made and the topic won't be discussed until the Fort Frances Senior Centre board comes to council with their decision.

The board is looking at the daycare as a possible location because it recently became surplus for the town and increased levels of programming could be hosted there due to its extra space.

“You can only have one thing going on at a time at the centre or else it's distracting for another group trying to do anything there, whereas the daycare has all sorts of different little areas with doors to keep your activity quiet and private from everybody else,” noted Mayor Caul.

She used to serve on the senior centre board about a year ago and said she came up with the idea of looking into the daycare building to address space challenges.

“It was a suggestion and that's all . . . It still is just a suggestion to try to find room for more activities to go on at the same time,” Mayor Caul explained.

She told the Times nobody has decided the future of the senior centre and its board is still gathering input before they speak to the Community Services division of the town which will then bring a recommendation forward to council.

A survey has already been completed by Sister Kennedy Centre users and an open house was held at the daycare.

In light of rumours, Mayor Caul confirmed that town council has held no in-camera meetings or outside of camera meetings regarding the centre and won't discuss it until a recommendation is brought forward by their executive committee.

“This is just an idea, and that's all it is and we're just checking in to see whether it's a viable idea, how people might feel about it, and so on,” Mayor Caul remarked.

“The majority of the [senior centre] board thinks it would be a good idea [to move] but the board will decide based on what the clientele want,” she added.

“They're going to do their due diligence to make sure it's the right move for the senior centre.”

The board organized an open house at the daycare on Oct. 5 to provide seniors with a chance to view the building and gather their input.

“The seniors had no idea what it looked like at all so the board wanted to let them see what the potential of that building would be with all the different rooms in it,” Mayor Caul explained.

Contrary to rumours spread surrounding council and the senior centre, the town has not applied for any grants for senior housing and the Catholic Church has had no involvement in discussions pertaining to the Sister Kennedy Centre.

If the senior centre was to be relocated, the town would either try tor rent out the facility to another group or sell it—it would not be torn down.

“Relocating was just a thought. Nobody has acted on it, nobody has made up their minds,” Mayor Caul explained.

She added that whether the centre is moved or not will ultimately depend on what the majority of citizens want.

The next senior centre board meeting is slated for next Tuesday and any further consultations with the public will be determined at that time.

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