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Councillor questions City’s role in replacing damaged driving range nets at Elmwood golf course

Posted on 25 May 2021 by Matthew Liebenberg
City helping Elmwood Golf Club

A Swift Current City councillor received an assurance during a regular council meeting on May 17 that there will be no liability for the City from helping Elmwood Golf Club to replace damaged nets at the driving range.

Councillor John Wall questioned the payment of $32,000 by the City to purchase driving range net panels for installation at Elmwood golf course.

General Manager Corporate Services Kari Cobler said the nets for the driving range were purchased by the City on behalf of the golf club.

“That was done in partnership with the Elmwood golf course under which we will receive full cost recovery for that project,” she explained.

Councillor Wall asked for more details about why the City was doing this for the golf club and what it will mean for taxpayers.

“The reason I’m asking, I don’t understand why City taxpayers should be liable for anything to do with Elmwood golf course,” he said.

City Chief Administrative Officer Tim Marcus provided an assurance that the City will not have any liability and he also provided more details about the reason for the City’s involvement.

“We had a wind storm earlier this year and the driving range panels that protect the houses in the housing development there were torn,” he said. “It was an insurance claim and Elmwood asked us if we would purchase the nets on their behalf for them, and they would reimburse us with the cost from their insurance proceeds.”

Marcus and Mayor Al Bridal spoke in more details about the City’s assistance to the golf club during an online media briefing after the council meeting.

“We designed that driving range when we built the Cypress Point subdivision as well,” Marcus said. “We had the expertise on it. So it only made sense for us to help them out when they needed a hand rebuilding it after the windstorm.”

Bridal emphasized the City will receive the money back for purchasing the nets, and he felt it made sense to help out a local golf course.

“I know it is a private course and we have a municipal course at the south side, but having this course active and financially viable is good for all of us,” he said.

He noted that many Swift Current residents are playing golf at the Elmwood Golf Club and the land where the golf course is located are owned by taxpayers since the 1970s.

“Elmwood golf course at that time got into financial trouble with taxes, and they turned over all the land to the City and they wrote up a proposal that they would continue to operate, paying I believe a dollar a year lease,” he explained. “All the land that Elmwood sits on with the exception of the land that’s under the clubhouse and the parking lot, is owned by the City taxpayers. … So to make it easier for them, we’ve helped them out by putting these nets up and they’re going to pay us back once they get the insurance money.”

He felt it is a case of good neighbourliness for the City to help out the Elmwood Golf Club. According to Bridal it is similar to the cooperation between the City and the R.M. of Swift Current, for example with regard to the reciprocal fire agreement between the two municipalities.

“So with Elmwood golf course it’s a neighbourly thing and because almost all their members are citizens of Swift Current too,” he said. “So it’s just a neighbourly thing and the fact is the nets are there to protect the new houses that are part of the city.”

Bridal added that the City also has supportive relationships with other organizations in the community, for example the Swift Current Broncos and the Swift Current 57’s baseball club.

“So it’s more sports related,” he said. “I think if it was like a private corporation that build homes or build widgets or build farm equipment, we wouldn’t be doing the same thing, but that being said, we sometimes contract. When private corporations ask us to put in a sewer and a water line for instance, the City will contract and put the sewer and waterline in from the main right into their property or their building, as long as they pay us, and so this is kind of along the same lines, except that those ones we give them a bill. We expect to be paid right away. With Elmwood we are giving them the time to get their insurance money before they pay us.”

Council approves expenditures for several projects:

Council approved expenditures for several projects presented during the regular council meeting, May 17.

The City will enter into a contract with Duncan Roofing Ltd. of Moose Jaw at a cost of $108,120 (PST included, GST excluded) to replace the existing roofing material and insulation on one of the oldest sections of the water treatment plant building.

Council also approved the contract with Plato’s Superior Roofing of Medicine Hat for a fee of $234,973 (PST included, GST excluded) to replace the roof of the Service Centre, which houses the City’s infrastructure and operations division. Several areas of the roof failed during a heavy rain event in 2017. It was patched afterwards as a temporary solution, but the roof requires replacement.

The City will purchase a crawler camera and tractor at a cost of $126,717.70 (PST included, GST excluded) to carry out visual inspections of storm and sanitary sewers. This remote-controlled tractor unit will drive down a sewer line and the attached camera will make it possible for the operator to visually inspect the line for cracks and breaks and do a pipe condition assessment.

The City will purchase 15 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)units from Acklands-Grainger in Swift Current at a cost of $125,292 (PST included, GST excluded).

These SCBA units will be purchased with funding received from the provincial Municipal Economic Enhancement Program (MEEP). It will replace 15 outdated units that no longer meet the standards of the current occupational health and safety regulations.

City helping Elmwood Golf Club

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