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Gilford Hall needs township funds to survive, trustees say

"Does Gilford need its own community hall? That's the question West Gwillimbury council members will have to ask themselves when they meet in the community on Cook's Bay in mid-April, after receiving a request for funding from the trustees of Gilford Hall.
The century-old hall has been owned by five trustees, who have passed the responsibility on to their descendants through the years. Now, they find the costs of maintaining the hall are more than what is earned from events held there.
Lou Cronan, one of the trustees, and chairman of the hall, said in a telephone interview that the overhead of running the hall including taxes, insurance, heat and caretaking are too high.
He was reluctant to say how much of a grant the trustees would need to maintain the hall each year, but said at least several thousand dollars is needed.
"The community has changed," Mr. Cronan said. "There used to be a lot of dances (to raise money)...there's not as much happening as in the past."
A letter requesting support was received by council at its March 17 meeting, and was referred to the finance committee, with instructions that a report be ready for the April 21 council meeting, to be held at the Gilford Hall.
The township has given grants to the hall in the past, and the Gilford Lions Club has made contributions. The Lions Club, Women's Institute and Horticultural Society use the hall regularly, contributing revenue, Mr. Cronan said.
Councillor Ron Simpson told council he had checked the assessment role to see if any adjustment could be made to the hall's taxes. He said at one time taxes had not been paid on the hall for 12 years, because it was assumed the township owned the land and building.
Mr. Simpson said the township could decide to support the hall, or take over ownership.
Mr. Cronan said there had been no discussion about turning the hall over to the municipality, but, "something like that will have to be done."
He said the hall is generally in good shape, with some minor repairs needed, and a fire wall to be installed around the furnace.
Each year West Gwillimbury gives a grant, of $1000 last year, toward the cost of operating the Bond Head Community Hall. The hall is owned by the township of Tecumseth, because it is on the west side of Highway 27.

Bradford Weekly