Council supports city loan and contribution for tennis facility

Construction of a proposed indoor tennis facility will continue this summer thanks to a $175,000 loan and $125,000 contribution from the City of Salmon Arm.

On Monday, council received an update from the Salmon Arm Tennis Club regarding fundraising for the facility, as well as a request for both the interest-free loan, to be payable over 25 years, and the contribution, to come from the city’s recreational amenity reserve.

Club representatives Winston Pain and Ken Hecker explained to council, both in writing and in person, that while fundraising has gone well, project costs have escalated, in particular the cost of the timber and steel needed for the construction. Meanwhile, applications for provincial gaming grant and Tennis Canada funding were unsuccessful.

Pain explained that in September, the club decided to start the building permit process to avoid impending BC Building Code changes that could further escalate costs. The downside to this was the $115,000 development cost charge paid to the city, which further depleted the club’s working capital.

“With our building, we would have been close to buying two-thirds of the steel package in September, which would have allowed us to start the process of fabricating the steel and get ahead of the project,” explained Pain. “By not being able to do that and having, unfortunately, no working capital, we couldn’t do that.”

In response to the funding requests, city councillors (except Coun. Alan Harrison, who stepped out of the room due to potential conflict of interest) expressed confidence in both the club and the value of the future facility for the community.

“I know we went through the counter-petition process to approve… a loan,” said Coun. Kevin Flynn, referring to a $750,000 loan the city, in 2016, agreed to guarantee for the club to build the facility. “But that isn’t costing the taxpayers necessarily anything and that’s all been done in the past. At this point, we’re looking at possibly getting a $1.5 million facility for zero actual dollars invested and very little risk.”

RELATED: No love for indoor tennis court

RELATED: City agrees to support construction of indoor tennis facility

Speaking to the precedence of the loan, Coun. Tim Lavery said the club, “has presented a vetted, solid business plan and that’s important… there’s the capacity to pull this off.”

Afterwards, Hecker explained the $750,000 loan would only apply to the back-end of the project, leaving to club to raise the funding needed to get it going. He said the funding from the city should get the project to the stage where the $750,000 will complete it.

“The tennis club has operated really efficiently for 40 years with no debt or the times we’ve had to have capital expenditures, for example the $65,000 for the lights, we were able to pay that off within a four-year period,” said Hecker. “So we’ve certainly proved we can be an efficient organization… I was really pleased with the support and recognition that this is an addition to the Salmon Arm community.”

Just Posted

CSRD board approves pay increase for directors

Remuneration bylaw will come into effect after election of new board

Iconic Shuswap sternwheeler undergoing work for return to service

Sicamous business owner Mike Helfrick hopes to offer dinner tours on historic vessel

CSRD looking into upgrades for Scotch Creek Water Plan

District beginning feasibility study for future upgrades

Race is on for Shuswap late-run sockeye salmon

New estimates say about 750,000 sockeye will spawn on the Adams River, similar to 2014 dominant run

Salmon Arm library to undergo upgrades over the winter

New meeting space planned for Okanagan Regional Library’s Salmon Arm branch

Your weekend weather update

Rain continues to move right across the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Low risk associated with case of pneumococcal disease in the South Okanagan

No identified risk to the public from recent case of pneumococcal disease with associated meningitis

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read