Responses to the letter (below) can be viewed here:
October 4, 2018
To Prospective Nelson City Councillors,
For more than 15 yrs Glacier Gymnastics Club has operated out of its current location; the city owned Civic Centre. We are the largest sporting organization for girls in Nelson, and second only to soccer for total number of participants. Each season we face a number of challenges that make it all but impossible to meet community demand for programming. A large component of our challenges are facility and capacity related.
Our space in Civic Centre sees minimal City spending and minimal City support; the building has not been well maintained over the years. We are a responsible tenant who in just the past 6 years has directed upwards of $150,000.00 towards improving the usability and overall capacity of the facility.
Last year we initiated another ($50,000.00 estimated) renovation project; with plans to improve the layout of the upper change rooms in order to create space for a multipurpose room/gym. The increased space will be used to alleviate the class wait lists that we continue to experience. Following a disappointing lack of support from Council and the CIP Grant process; our initial plans have been scaled back. Over $20,000.00 in pledged grants have had to be re-secured; and we will follow a phased approach and reduced budget to achieve the facility improvements. It will likely take another season to make these needed improvements a reality.
The previous year has seen a drastic change for the club in how the city has charged us rent for use of the Civic Center. Our lease negotiations were essentially a take it or leave it offer from the city, with the end result being that our yearly rent expense almost doubled from $19,845.00 to $37,680.00, costing our non-profit club an additional $17,835.00 per year. During negotiations it was suggested that we could claw back some of the rent increase with CIP grant money disbursed back to us by the city, however when the present council made their decisions Glacier Gymnastics received nothing.
Our Questions to you are:
- How would you better support our Gymnasts and our Club with regards to keeping our sport affordable and available to all kids in our community?
- What are your thoughts on the Civic Centre facility and the so called Recreation Campus?
- What about the Recreation Task Force Report (26 recommendations made a year ago with no changes yet in the works)?
- What role does youth sport and recreation play in your community vision?
- What can Council do to support the various volunteer user groups who deliver these services?
We will be posting your replies in our parent watch area, on our Facebook page, and emailing them directly to each family in the club.
Thank you for your time,
The Glacier Gymnastics Board