Fruitvale council did take some heat from the opposition at the Dec. 2 meeting, admits the mayor.
Ultimately, however, the elected officials went against the grain and unanimously chose to open up the seniors-only gym to younger members.
“Twenty people showed up for the gym issue,” Mayor Steve Morissette told the Trail Times. “It was a mix, but for sure it was a majority of ‘not for’ … It was respectful, but at the public comment on agenda items at the end of the meeting, we took some heat for sure,” he said. “But no yelling or such.”
Previous: Fruitvale to decide future use of gym
Previous: Fruitvale looks at expanding gym use
This decision does come with a few caveats, those being the hours for non-senior use are limited, and it’s not permanent, yet. Rather, the expansion of use is on a six-month trial basis.
That said, effective Jan. 2, adults aged 20 to 49 will be allowed to workout in the Beaver Valley Age Friendly Gym each day between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Hours for seniors are 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Aside from these changes comes another big adjustment – the gym is no longer free for seniors.
Council is advising all current gym users (aged 50 and over) that as of Jan. 2, all existing gym key cards will be deactivated. The card will be re-activated once the senior visits the municipal office to sign a waiver and pays a $15 monthly fee.
New users aged 50+ will also have to pay $25 for a security access card, in addition to the $15 monthly user fee.
Non-seniors are subject to pay $25 for a security access card as well as a $30 monthly fee.
Cards for the younger members will be activated once a wavier is signed in the municipal office and the $55 start-up fee is paid.
Because the gym was built on grants, no operational money has been allotted to the amenity. The newly introduced fees will be directed into repairing and/or replacing equipment.
Council will review the changes after the six-month trial period ends on June 30.
Besides laying the gym issue to rest at the Monday night meeting, Fruitvale council also addressed their first application for a cannabis retail store.
Prior to regular council, village leaders held an open session in chambers as a way to give residents a chance to ask questions or voice concerns about the retailing of marijuana.
Morissette says four people showed up for the pot store public consultation, though only two spoke.
“One lady (spoke) against the proposed store, all of her negativity was related to youth cannabis use and fear of ‘bootlegging,'” the mayor said.
The other person to speak was the applicant, a local business owner named Warren Ham.
“He spoke of the onerous process to get set up and licensed, and the strict and tight regulatory and training process to safeguard the public,” Morissette said. “Council voted unanimously to support the new business.”