With a long-term agreement with a youth camp coming to an end, Town of Huntsville staff are exploring alternate summer use for Pitman’s Bay, including the possibility of increasing the number of its own summer camps that run there.
Highlands Youth for Christ, which has had an agreement with the Town for use of the outdoor facility for its KidMax summer camp since 2005, notified staff in September that it would be cancelling the agreement for 2018 and beyond.
Pitman’s Bay has been used for youth programming for decades. According to a staff report presented at the October 25 General Committee meeting, the Town secured the title for Pitman’s Bay in 1951 in a legal agreement with Scouts Canada that had the organization operating the property on behalf of the Town. In 1993, Scouts Canada ended this agreement and the Huntsville Youth Club took over maintenance of the site during the weeks of their summer camp. Highlands Youth for Christ assumed the agreement in 2005.
In exchange for use of the site, Highlands Youth for Christ were responsible for Hydro costs, approximately $1,200 per year; maintenance of the facility including grounds and minor building upkeep and equipment repair; cleaning the washrooms; and garbage removal.
The legal agreement states that the purpose of the site is to be primarily for youth programming. Rentals for youth-related use are complimentary; there is a fee for all other rentals based on the Town’s Fees & Charges Bylaw. It’s a popular weekend venue for weddings and family reunions.
The Town also holds a popular outdoor day camp at Pitman’s Bay for one week at the end of the summer, one that typically sells out. Last year it had a waiting list.
“Given the recent cancellation and given the success of our program and the number of kids on the waitlist, we would like to review possible municipal use and the costs involved and report back with recommendations,” Kari Lambe, the Town’s Director of Community Services told the committee. The committee agreed.
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