Tara Roden photo                                Golfers enjoy a day out on the Seven Hills course.

Tara Roden photo Golfers enjoy a day out on the Seven Hills course.

Seven Hills applies for additional grant funding for power infrastructure

Ageing poles “collapsed and cut off power temporarily to the maintenance shed” and need replacing.

Seven Hills Golf and Country Club requested an unusual amount of grant funding from the regional district this year. In an Oct. 28 letter to the Regional District of Mount Waddington (RDMW), Seven Hills’ secretary treasurer Scott Mitchell pointed out that there needs to be work done on the power poles leading to the clubhouse.

Seven Hills has typically applied for grant funding through the RDMW in the past. In fact, the regional district “has been a longstanding and generous supporter of the golf club through the provision of annual grants of $20,000 towards capital expenditures,” said Mitchell within the formal application letter.

This year, however, because of the power poles needing to be replaced, the golf club is requesting “an additional $40,000 in the fall/winter of 2018 by way of advancing payment of the club’s 2019 and 2020 grants,” stated the letter.

The replacement project started as early as 2016 when four poles were replaced, with one more needing replacing last spring. “It collapsed and cut off power temporarily to the maintenance shed,” the letter continued. “Planning is underway to replace the remaining ten original poles later this winter at an estimated cost of $80,000.”

Chief Administrative Officer of RDMW Greg Fletcher noted that there is additional funding available, as high as $19,100 from the yearly budget. However, since the RDMW has recently changed its “Grants in Aid Policy”, the new policy requires that Seven Hills submit a formal written request for grant funding every year. The golf club will no longer automatically receive the grant funding as has been the case in the past.

“It is the golf club’s wish to continue receiving the $20,000 that has been provided by the (RDMW). Should the (RMDW) agree to provide the club an additional $19,100 in 2018 and approve the club’s 2019 grant request of $20,000 and provide this funding in the spring of 2019, the club will have adequate funds in place to cover the project costs,” the letter stated.

CAO Fletcher also noted in a phone interview that “there are two parts to that letter, applying for the grant, $20,000 for next year and a supplement.” He noted that the RDMW does realize that the power infrastructure for the golf club is at the end of its life. He also made mention of the fact that these sorts of projects are not possible without help from local governments since the golf club is a nonprofit.

“The population is so small (for the region), it’s not possible without a subsidy,” Fletcher said.

The project is not limited to replacing the poles, though. The club plans to widen the existing right-of-way prior to the installation work, which Seven Hills has already made arrangements with Western Forest Products to do so. Widening the right-of-way, Seven Hills hopes, will “help to reduce the project cost.”

A contractor has already been selected and the poles were ordered. The work is expected to be completed by March 2019.