The Kimberley Gymnastics Society has big plans for a new building and gym facility to replace the current one on Warren Avenue, which is no longer meeting the club’s needs.
The City of Kimberley is supportive of those plans up to a point. Council discussed the matter at their regular meeting last week after the Gymnastics Society made several requests.
The first request was that the City be a partner on grants, which was granted. The City will assist with letters of support and with the Economic Development Officer helping source funding opportunities and write grant applications.
The Society is also looking for some city land to be committed to the project. Again, Council felt they could assist here although they didn’t fully commit the land at this time. The land Council is considering is on Rotary Drive between the Aquatic Centre and the community garden.
The Society also asked that the City provide water, sewer and gas hookups. This was also doable, Council agreed, although it was considerably far down the road before it would be required.
However, there was one request Council felt it could not commit to and that was lending the Society money for the project, or alternatively, cosigning a loan.
In his report to Council, City CAO Scott Sommerville said that the cost of a new building would be in the area of $700,000 to $900,000.
“I looked through the business plan and I see no money in it for loan payments or rent payments,” Sommerville said. “There is nothing to indicate they could make of payments of potentially $43,000 to $103,000 per year (on a ten year term). They profit about five to six thousand a year with the free use of the current building.”
Sommerivlle said he would advise Council not to lend the money or cosign.
The city has lent money in the past, for example to Rotary for the completion of the Rotary Park bathroom project, but that was for $40,000.
Mayor Don McCormick said that when there is a large goal, there often comes a moment when there is a reality check.
“The Gymnastics Society is going through that now, trying to find a path,” he said. “We are not giving the land away, just saying they would have access to land. It’s so early in the process.”
Coun. Darryl Oakley said he found it hard to believe that with all the buildings the city owns, that a suitable one couldn’t be found that the club could use.
“We can’t come up with a plan for them,” said Coun. Sandra Roberts. “They need to do it. We can support them, but it’s up to them.”