Curling club upgrades via taxpayers?

The Curling club is hoping to rely on taxpayers to help maintain and run the Valemount Curling Club / Evan Matthews

by EVAN MATTHEWS

Local curlers are aiming for an ice plant upgrade, and they’re working with the regional district to avoid having the issue swept pass the backline.

The Valemount Curling Club has been working with Regional District of Fraser Fort George (RDFFG) staff on a feasibility study, and the club is hoping it will be complete by the end January, according to chair of the curling club’s steering committee, Korie Marshall.

The steering committee, according to Marshall, includes members of the Valemount Curling Club — a registered non-profit — as well as regional district and Village staff such as Valemount’s Mayor, Jeannette Townsend, and RDFFG Director, Dannielle Alan.

The idea is to set up a new taxable service to help maintain and run the Valemount Curling Club, Marshall says.

“Setting up the taxable service will require the assent of the electors, which in this case will be by a public vote, potentially early next fall,” says Marshall.

“If we have enough support to get to that stage, the vote would go out to residents of Valemount and anyone in Area H to the southeast of Croyden — essentially Cedarside, Albreda, Tête Jaune Cache and Mount Robson,” she says.

“Setting up the taxable service will require the assent of the electors, which in this case will be by a public vote, potentially early next fall,” says Chair of the Curling Club’s steering committee, Korie Marshall

So why would the taxpayer pick up the tab?

“We believe (the curling club) is important to the entire community, not just curlers,” says Marshall.

Though membership numbers are down from what they were in years past, Marshall says the club consistently sees 30 adult regular members, but there are also 30 kids in the junior curling program.

“If we had to close… those kids would lose out,” says Marshall. “We know we’ll be asking a lot of the community, and we’re working on grants to bring the cost down, but the point is that it’s not just curlers using the building.”

The Curling club is hoping to rely on taxpayers to help maintain and run the Valemount Curling Club / Evan Matthews

The curling club houses the food bank, Marshall says, and has hosted trade shows, workshops, weddings, dances, fundraisers, after school programs, even hip-hop classes.

“We want to continue to make the facility available to the community, not just for curling but for other uses and programs,” says Marshall.

The Valemount Curling Club approached the RDFFG back in 2014 for help with its ice plant, Marshall says, which is very old, inefficient, and expensive to run.

Though there are a few critical pieces of the feasibility study still to be completed,

The original idea, according to Marshall, was to connect the curling rink with the much newer, more efficient system at the Canoe Valley Rec Centre.

With the blessings of the RRDFFG Board, Marshall says club members have been looking at the best options, while working with RDFFG staff.

The same service area paying for the CVRC would also be paying for the curling club, Marshall notes.

“We plan to send out further information early in the New Year, as soon as the feasibility study is completed,” says Marshall.

Marshall is encouraging anyone with questions to contact her at 250-566-3762.

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