Golf Club to receive $28,500 from RDN to upgrade equipment

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, December 13 2016

The Gabriola Golf Club will be getting $28,500 in Community Works funds from the Regional District of Nanaimo to be put towards equipment purchases.

Dick Sharples, representing the Gabriola Golf Course board, presented the request to the RDN Board in Nanaimo this past Tuesday.

The equipment upgrades, as well as other changes made this fall, will assure the Golf Club will continue operating into the foreseeable future.

After giving a history of the course, Sharples said the request was coming in, as “over the years, our equipment has aged and been kept together by hard work, duct tape, WD40 and lots of time.”

Both the 1958 Fairways mower and utility vehicle will be replaced with newer refurbished models. The ice making machine and kitchen stove are slated for replacement. The greens mower will be repaired.

Sharples said the issue for the club was that although it has been able to cover the yearly operating expenses, capital expenditures have been a problem.

He noted the decrease in membership the club has seen over the years, meaning that every time the club managed to put together any kind of contingency plan for upgrades to equipment, it has had to use those funds for operations.

“We’ve reached the point where if we’re going to keep operating, we’re going to need to do something. These machines are way past their best use dates. If purchased new, they are expensive. We’ve been able to source a supplier with reconditioned used equipment.”

Sharples said the club has had changes made since this past summer when the Sounder reported on the financial difficulties the club had been facing.

Sharples said the club has negotiated a lower monthly lease with its landowner.

There has also been an increase in membership, as well as a 20 per cent increase in the annual membership fee.

Howard Houle, RDN Director for Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, DeCourcy) said he was pleased to see the club was “not just sitting on your hands waiting for the RDN to bail you out. 

“You have done things to improve the financial picture with changing lease payments and membership - that has put you on a good financial standing; hopefully you will survive past that.”

Sharples said going in to the next season, there are 106 playing members and 140 members total.

Community Works funds are a source of funding delivered to all local governments in British Columbia through a direct annual allocation by the Union of BC Municipalities to support local priorities.

The Regional District of Nanaimo received $1,676,566.15 in Community Works funds for 2016 - 2017 which is then distributed amongst the Electoral Areas on a per capita basis.

Community Works funds do not require a matching amount to be provided by the local government or other organizations - and there are no local taxes paid into the fund.