Residents of Merrickville-Wolford can now enjoy recreation facilities at the Smiths Falls Memorial Community Centre.
During a recent council meeting, Village of Merrickville-Wolford Council voted unanimously to enter a five-year recreation cost sharing agreement with the Town of Smiths Falls.
"As part of the Agreement, our local residents will be able to enjoy the indoor ice pad or the walking track above, safely right close to home," said Merrickville-Wolford Mayor Doug Struthers. "The continued collaborative dialogue between the Village and the Town of Smiths Falls has helped to forge a strong partnership between neighbouring communities and provide enhanced services for residents to have access to this top-notch recreational facility."
A release from Mayor Struthers office says the decision to enter into the agreement is a shift from the last time council fully reviewed the issue in 2017, and declined the opportunity.
The statement goes on to say the agreement, based on a weighted cost-sharing assessment model, will result in collective benefits for Merrickville-Wolford, Smiths Falls and four neighbouring communities committed to the partnership, including Drummond/North Elmsley, Elizabethtown-Kitley, Montague, and Rideau Lakes.
The group of municipalities has agreed the weighted assessment model works well to equitably distribute the net costs of operating the $11.9-million community centre, with Merrickville-Wolford contributing approximately $18,000 annually.
The community centre is scheduled to reopen on Monday, January 31 as the Ontario government begins the easing of COVID-19 health restrictions.