The regional district made the generous decision of granting more funding to Seven Hills Golf and Country Club in order to replace aging infrastructure.
During the country club’s Nov. 20 delegation, Regional District of Mount Waddington (RDMW) decided to grant an additional $19,100 before the end of the year on top of the $20,000 already given.
Scott Mitchell, who joined the club’s board of directors last spring, said that the most pressing matter was “dealing with legacy issues not unlike community infrastructure. Our golf course was built in 1982. All of the original stuff is getting tired.”
He noted that in particular the hydro poles and much of the original infrastructure was beginning to fail. “This spring a pole fell down, indicating it’s time to change them,” he added.
“We had them inspected a number of years ago and we were told they need to be changed out in the next two to three years, and that was last year.”
Since the club’s finances were tight – a “shoe-string budget,” he noted – the board decided to change a few poles at a time with four poles replaced two years ago, but the one pole which fell last spring needed urgent replacing.
“We proceeded to get a quote for the work. It’s going to cost us in the order of $70,000 to $80,000 to change the remaining poles,” he said.
The $80,000 is thought to cover costs of least 10 poles after receiving quotes for the work.
“The club operates on an annual operating budget of $200,000. We’re not a non-profit but we’re not profitable,” he added.
“We’re experiencing continual losses over a period of time,” he said, “despite the generosity of local government. We still generally operate with an annual operating deficit.” He requested a grant in advance from the RDMW last July, but the club continues to operate at a $15,000 to $20,000 budget deficit.
Project timelines were extended to early next year since the club had to work “with Western (Forest Products) with an ask to clear the right of way. It’s all grown in and needs to be cleared.”
Western Forest Product does, in fact, own the land that the club is built on.
Mitchell also noted the forest company will provide the clearing service free of charge. “Planning is underway and we’re hoping it will come to fruition over the winter and then we will be in a position to have the poles installed in the spring before the next golf season starts,” he said.
“Our timelines have extended which means our urgency for the finances were delayed as well,” he added. “It’s been indicated to us that given current bylaws on grants-in-aid that it would be possible.”
“We make do with what we have,” he concluded, after having explained the club’s budget and the situation they are in.
After Mitchell’s presentation, the board agreed to provide the extra $19,100 in funding to the club.