July 30, 2019 Update: Proposed Sale of EJ Freeland Centre to the Town of Fort Erie

The YMCA of Niagara has formally responded to the Town of Fort Erie’s proposal to transfer ownership of the EJ Freeland Centre from the YMCA to the Town. Based on the Town’s agreement to the following conditions, the YMCA is prepared to move forward with the transfer of the EJ Freeland YMCA:

Conditions include:

• The building and property would be transferred to the Town “as is.”

• The agreement would include the building, land and designated equipment, which would be agreed upon by the YMCA and the Town.

• To protect those in the community who donated to the YMCA for the construction and operation of the EJ Freeland Centre, the Town would be restricted from selling the building or land to another party without the consent of the YMCA.

• In keeping with the YMCA’s commitment to provide reasonable notice to YMCA staff and members, who are also local Fort Erie residents, the transfer would be completed no sooner than December 2, 2019.

• Consistent with YMCA privacy practices, member information and YMCA memberships would not be transferred to the Town.

“Through our community consultation process, we heard clearly that the preservation of the EJ Freeland Centre as a community hub for health, fitness and swimming is vital to local residents. Our response to the Town is designed to honour that feedback. We look forward in good faith to developing the plan for this transition with Town of Fort Erie over the coming weeks,” said Kyle Barber, President and CEO, YMCA of Niagara.

EJ Freeland YMCA July 19th Update:

YMCA of Niagara President and CEO Kyle Barber spoke with Newstalk 610 CKTB on Friday, July 19th to update on the work of the YMCA in Fort Erie including the status of discussions with the Town. We’re committed to keeping the community informed of our plans. Listen to the full audio segment by clicking here.  As Kyle shared with listeners;

• The YMCA has been actively working through the community consultation process and appreciates the significant response and feedback from Fort Erie residents. • The YMCA continues to engage in discussions with the Town of Fort Erie and expects to formally respond to their purchase offer for the EJ Freeland YMCA by July 31. • Any future changes, will be communicated to YMCA members and staff well in advance of any operational changes. • No formal date has been set for the closure of the EJ Freeland YMCA and YMCA programs and services will continue throughout this process. • The YMCA has invested more than $3 million dollars to support the facility in recent years and also assumed approximately $740,000 in debt at the time of the buildings transfer. To read more about the EJ Freeland YMCA status please see Niagara This Week’s article, Y to Respond to Town of Fort Erie’s Purchase Offer By Month’s End: CEO

For further reading please see below.

Thank you to everyone who participated in one of our many community consultation sessions and those who took the time to fill out our first survey. We appreciate the thoughtful feedback and comments you’ve shared with us. 

Do you have feedback or questions; email us at Forterie.feedback@niagara.ymca.ca