Remembrance Day ceremony at Chatham's Cenotaph, November 11, 2016 (Photo by Jake Kislinsky)

CK Councillor Wants To Stop Charging Veterans Event Fees

A Chatham-Kent councillor wants the municipality to drop fees for veteran groups hosting events in the community.

Councillor Bryon Fluker will be presenting a motion at Monday night’s council meeting that calls for all veteran groups to be removed from fee charges for events and added charges to be removed for service clubs paying rentals or other fees.

Fluker says he was floored when he discovered that the local legion was charged for hosting this year’s Remembrance Day service at the Chatham Cenotaph.

“It really surprised me that we would even consider at any time charging legions and veterans… especially for Remembrance Day,” says Fluker. “I’m sure that I will get support, I’m very confident. I think most councillors have had comments from their local legions.”

Fluker says these kinds of charges shouldn’t be there.

“[This would apply to] veterans groups having any kind of a service for let’s say service vets that served in Afghanistan or served in some other conflict that has been going on,” he says.

Fluker says he also saw that there was a $100 increase for events that have going on for decades in the community.

“There are service clubs that have run events in every community…Retrofest, WAMBO, and so on. These are the kinds of things where we rely on volunteers to enhance quality of life in Chatham-Kent,” explains Fluker. “Even tacking on another $100–I just can’t see it as a part of our budget process as a revenue increase.”

He says that doesn’t mean there won’t be charges for service groups to use the municipality’s facilities, but he doesn’t think there should be that kind of an increase.

“We should try to keep the costs down to a minimum so that people can enjoy these quality events that take place,” explains Fluker.