By David F. Rooney
How far should City Council go to assist the Revelstoke Golf Club?
Should it forgive the club’s three years of unpaid rent estimated at $43,231 including taxes and accrued interest and, perhaps embed its financial needs in the annual City budget? Or should it decide the course if a white elephant and sell it?
These are two of the major questions facing the City in the wake of a report from Finance Director Graham Inglis regarding the club’s precarious financial situation.
“The total amount projected to be owed by the Club (which had signed a five-year lease agreement with the City in 2012) to the City at December 31, 2014, for rent is about $43,231 including taxes and accrued interest,” Inglis said in his report to Council last Tuesday, January 13.
“If a decision is made to write off the outstanding rent for 2012, 2013 and 2014 amounting to $35,858 (approximately excluding taxes) then this would impact the City’s results for 2014.
“The City budgeted a general operating surplus for 2014 of $51,277. A write off of the Club’s rent would reduce this budgeted surplus to $15,419. The City’s accumulated general operating surplus at December 31, 2013 was $495,345. The write off amount of $35,858 is equivalent to a property tax increase of approximately 0.4%.”
While the club is delinquent when it comes to paying its rent, it is paying its utility bills, Inglis said.
In a letter to Council last month, club President Heather Duchman said the club needs financial assistance to continue offering a quality product. She said the club wants to reduce its debt load by $91,000.
“The board is asking that a line item for financial assistance be established in the City budget reflecting a gradual increase in funding as the golf course budget addresses expenditures in their five-year projections,” she wrote to Council.
“The Board would like to establish a process wherein the maintenance of both the golf club property and buildings undergo an annual needs assessment. This would provide the city and the golf course with a more informed platform for preparing budgets and work schedules in their planning process.”
The club house needs some serious renovation, That was not discussed in Inglis’ financial impact report.
A January 2013 internal report, which was made public last May, said structural deficiencies at the clubhouse and some outbuildings need $592,000 in repairs and upgrades.
Duchman and other club officials have disputed that figure, suggesting that the real cost is around $200,000.
Who might wind up dangling on a hook for those renovations and repairs has not been publicly addressed in Council. This issue has been sent to the City’s Standing Committee on Finance for a recommendation. At that point Council will have to decide how far it wants to go.
On a related note, Council — with the exception of Scott Duke, who didn’t like the idea — did agree to send a request for assistance to pay for $3,000 mechanical work on the club bobcat to the municipal Grant-in-Aid process. That doesn’t mean it will get the money.
Please click here to view the financial impact report and Duchman’s letter.
Please click here to view the Golf Club’s official financial statement.
Please click here to read The Current’s 2014 story about the club house structural issues.
Please click here to read about the club’s plea to Council in December.
You can watch the entire Tuesday, January 13, meeting by activating the YouTube player below: