Plan needed before funding approved

Chris Clegg
Richard Froese
South Peace News

The High Prairie and District Golf Club will present plans to the Town of High Prairie and Big Lakes County before any money is approved for operations.
The club recently made pitches for $15,000 a year from both councils for future operations, the most recent being Feb. 12 at town council.
Club president Becky Turcotte, accompanied by Larry Greer, appeared before council. Turcotte explained the financial woes of the club, which were compounded by a furnace breakdown this winter which resulted in frozen pipes which burst. Two furnaces need replacing.
Turcotte asked council for a multi-year commitment of $15,000 a year. It was the same request they made to the county council Jan. 23.
When asked about revenue, town council heard the club is doing a raffle and extending membership to First Nations and Metis Settlements in a package deal for $10,000. Driftpile has already forwarded a cheque for membership.
Meanwhile, the county is asking the club to first present a feasible five-year business plan first for annual funding.
However, they did approve emergency funding of up to $14,000 to replace the two furnaces in the clubhouse. It is half of the cost requested when the club asked for money Jan. 23. The club hopes to get the other half from town council.
It was North Gilwood – Triangle Councillor Ken Matthews who suggested the five-year plan.
“We want a five-year business plan so we know where they’re going and how they’re going to raise funds.”
Big Lakes currently contributes $5,000 to the golf club, says Heather Nanninga, director of corporate services.
She recommended the county increase annual funding to $10,000 for five years starting in 2020. A condition is the county appoints a representative to serve on the golf club board.
Grouard Councillor Fern Welch asked why business is down at the golf course.
“Memberships in golf courses all over the province are declining,” CAO Jordan Panasiuk says.
“Golf as a sport is not as popular as it used to be.”
Kinuso Councillor Ken Killeen asked why the golf course hasn’t been part of the High Prairie and District Regional Recreation Board.
Recently, recreation became a department of the Town of High Prairie,
“If it were under the town, it would cost us more than $15,000,” Panasiuk says.
“That is probably the cheapest option.”

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