Boys & Girls Club will find a way to pay clubhouse overhead: executive director

The Boys & Girls Club of Cornwall/SDG clubhouse on Henry Street on April 14, 2015. City council voted Monday night to have the club start paying hard services plus rent for the location, which has been free to the club since 2002. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The head of the Boys & Girls Club of Cornwall/SDG says they will come up with a plan soon to pay for utilities and rent at its Henry Street clubhouse next year.

City council voted Monday night to start having the club pay utilities on the Henry Street clubhouse as well as $150 a year for rent, an arrangement already in place for the East Side Boxing Club on Jarvis Street.

While admitting the club would have liked the rent-free option, Jacquie Richards was careful in choosing her words.

“The city has been a great supporter of the Boys & Girls Club movement and have been a great partner and so we’ll continue to be very grateful for the support they have given us along the way,” Richards says.

“As a team we’ll have to go back and discuss how we handle…we have a new expense that we’re going to have to look at and I think, as a team, we have to sit down and look at how we’re going to do so,” she says.

The Henry Street location has been free for the club since 2002.

Richards doesn’t believe approximately $3,300 for water and sewer will bring financial hardship to the club.

“It’s a cost we didn’t foresee but…as an organization we’ll work through it and…if we have to reach out and…find some…sponsors and donors if need be to assist with that, that’s what we’ll do…our goal is to continue to have our programs accessible,” Richards says.

The Boys & Girls Club does not have secured government funding, but operates on donations as well as grants.

Richards believes the non-payment of rent or utilities for the Henry Street clubhouse was the city’s way to invest in Boys & Girls during its infancy and they were always aware this day could come.

“We are grateful for what the city has done for us and, that, I don’t want to be sort of not recognized because we’ve been in a great space for many years,” Richards says.

Right now, the club offers programming at eight locations across the city for roughly 500 kids from the ages of 6-18.

The utility payments and rent won’t start until January 1, 2016.

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