Lions unsuccessful in funding pitch to Westport Council

Westport Lions Club representatives were in front of Westport Council Monday night, seeking any kind of assistance with the club’s Sand Lake beach property.
After writing a letter to Council last month, the club was informed by Mayor Bill Thake that donating taxpayer funds to non-profit groups wasn’t something the village did.
They came to Monday night’s meeting anyway.
“We’re looking for avenues where the village can help us out,” Jim McGlade of the Lions Club told Council Monday.
The club ran a deficit in 2011 as expenses rose and fund raising slipped. The biggest expenditure is the Sand Lake Beach property which costs the club $27,000 a year to run.
“We’re try to get a business plan together.
“The fact that remains is, we need help,” he said.
They stressed that the mobility van is on solid financial footing, the beneficiary of being able to give out charitable receipts.
The presentation included a request to have the arena rental for summer bingos waived – a savings of about $1,000 – and assistance pursuing potential grant programs.
Suggestions have ranged from leasing the property or even selling it.
“If it were sold and closed, there would be a great hew and cry,” McGlade said.
“We certainly don’t want to see that property go away but I don’t think taxpayers should be paying for it,” Coun. Roger Merkley said.
The club has been looking for efficiencies with the beach house and are in the process of applying for a Trillium grant.
The club also had a meeting with representatives from Rideau Lakes Township, where the beach property actually lies.
As far as a public appeal, the Lions are happy with their community support.
“You can only go to the well so many times.
“I don’t how high that water is any more,” McGlade said.

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