Town council approved a resolution during its October 1st special session to offer the community non-profit agency part of the space in the former OPP station building on Cartier Boulevard. The term of the deal is for seven years with no rent required though the food bank will share building maintenance costs with the town.
Both Councillor Yves Paquette and Councillor Robert Lefebvre were strong advocates for the food bank during the discussion. Councillor Paquette described the food bank’s role in the community as “very important” while Council Lefebvre said the non-profit agency “is an essential service for Hawkesbury.”
The town owns the building, which has been a police station for decades, initially housing the Hawkesbury police force, before becoming the OPP station. The building became vacant after the OPP relocated in mid-September to their new detachment site on Cameron Street.
The municipality may also use part of the now-empty building for its own storage and meeting room needs.
The present Main Street building where the food bank is located does not have the storage capacity needed for the food bank’s operations. Also there are access problems for some food bank clients who have mobility issues. The former OPP station building solves both problems.
The current lease agreement allows the food bank to remain in its Main Street building until next summer. That gives the non-profit agency time to get funds from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the cost of renovations to the old police station.