Golf course denied city money

The decision was one of several reached by council Feb. 17 as it met for the last time to decide who should receive grants this year

The Skeena Golf and Country Club won’t be getting any money from the city’s community forest profit pool this year.

A first request for $23,000 to buy a stove, oven and carpet was reduced to $10,000 by the community forest’s profit distribution committee and then rejected altogether by city council in a 4-2 vote after it examined the facility’s finances.

The decision was one of several reached by council Feb. 17 as it met for the last time to decide who should receive grants this year under various of its programs.

Councillor James Cordeiro in discussion on the golf course request noted that it made $93,000 last year.

In light of the property tax exemption given by the regional district to the golf course of $30,000 and a city grant provided last year, Cordeiro also said that, “it gets to the point where you are granting people so much that it should just become a municipal golf course… at that rate you might as well just own the thing, at least that way you can control how the money is spent.”

Councillor Stacey Tyers acknowledged the profit recorded by the Skeena Valley Golf and Country Club when compared to the assistance provided to other golf courses in the region.

Prince Rupert council last year gave its golf course $150,000 in addition to a property tax exemption while the Kitimat golf course received approximately $100,000 in a grant and a property tax exemption.

Tyers wondered about the overall business model for northern golf and country clubs.

Cordeiro was joined by councillors Lynne Christiansen, Michael Prevost and Tyers in rejecting the golf course request while councillors Sean Bujtas and Brian Downie voted in favour.

The Terrace Community Forest, which is owned by the city, had $150,000 in profits to distribute to community groups, an increase over the $100,000 available in each of the past two years.

While a stand alone committee makes recommendations on how the community forest profit money should be distributed, council makes the final decision.

 

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