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Wednesday , 6 July 2022

Cold Lake Committed to Golf Course for 2016

Mayor Craig Copeland says the City of Cold Lake is committed to the Cold Lake Golf & Winter Club for 2016. Despite some discussion at a recent council meeting, the Mayor says the City will continue to manage and share financial responsibilities for the recreational facility with the Wing Commander. Mayor Copeland says the City believes having a strong recreational program in Cold Lake is vital to the resident’s quality of life.

Discussion on whether or not the City should be managing the course came up was after the City put out tenders for the yearly maintenance. The tenders came back higher than in the past, which caused some concern from council. “The tenders came in pretty high, so the decision at that meeting was to continue operating the golf course and extend the maintenance contract we have with that provider for another year. The money item was discussed because it was an increase from last year.” Mayor Copeland explains Councillor Kelvin Plain addressed the increase in costs and questioned whether it was time for the City to be out of the golf business. “That wasn’t the decision of Council, because Council had the golf course as part of the 2016 budget.”

By no means is Council saying they’re getting out of the golf business. – Craig Copeland Mayor of Cold Lake

 

“Let’s talk about recreation,” Mayor Copeland believes recreation is the heart of a vibrant city and an expense that is well worth the red ink. “All in the City of Cold Lake debts for recreation, on the operating side (which includes the debt on new buildings), is probably near three million, if not higher on a yearly basis. On every dollar you expense, what you get back in revenue, in terms of what Cold Lake runs, the Marina is probably the best bang for your buck. For every dollar you put out, you probably get a 70 or 80 cent return on revenue. The Golf Course & Curling Club is pretty close to being the same number. Then there’s a considerable drop, a nice arena will be lucky to be 40 to 50 cents on the dollar, then a field house is about 15 cents on the dollar. Outdoor recreation, ball diamonds, parks, walking trails, that typically is five cents on the dollar.”

“You have to put everything into context.” As Mayor Copeland explains, the City doesn’t expect to make money off recreation, in fact it’s the opposite, they plan for losses. “Council is a big supporter of recreation.” Though many don’t think of a golf course as a typical City ran facility, Mayor Copeland says the Cold Lake Golf & Winter Club can be enjoyed by all ages; the club has been working hard to build a strong junior program. The mayor is understanding that golf is one of the more expensive sports, and notes the club maintains competitive rates. “Adult recreation is important, for everyone’s health. We should look at all types of recreation in Cold Lake.”

It’s all about making the community a better place to live. Personally, I’m not a big fan of pulling certain parts of recreation out of the community & saying we shouldn’t be in this business. – Craig Copeland Mayor of Cold Lake

The City of Cold Lake took over partial financial responsibility of the course in February of 2013; including the maintenance of the course. Maintanence was contracted out to the Grand Centre Golf Club. In 2015, the maintenance budget was $318,000, for 2016 the proposed budget is $375,000. “We had to increase the budget on the expense side to operate the golf course this summer.” Part of the reason for the large increase in cost is the City put in standards that the maintenance crew had to meet; such as grass cutting schedules. Due to the higher standards which need to be met for the 2016 season, the bid came back higher than 2015. With that in mind, Council voted to award the contract to the Grand Centre Golf Club.

“Council committed to the Wing Commander that we would take over responsibility of that facility and it’s a really good deal, because not all of the financial responsibility is on the City of Cold Lake. The Wing Commander takes some of that cost on his budget and we’re paying for having the people run the building, the pro shop, and the ice plant. It’s a great relationship we have with the Wing Commander.”

The facility is a significant asset in our community. The curling rink is beautiful, the building is gorgeous, and it’s a beautiful course. – Craig Copeland Mayor of Cold Lake

“Council’s committed to the golf course for 2016, Councillor Plain was just commenting that the City shouldn’t be in the business of the running a golf course, that’s all.” Mayor Copeland says each Councillor brings different opinions, knowledge, and experience to the table and it’s because of each of their abilities to voice their opinions that Cold Lake is so successful.

The increase in the maintenance fees, coupled with Councillor Plain’s qualms, has led administration to bring the issue back to Council at a later date to ensure that is is still the desire of the City of Cold Lake to manage the course.

About Jena Colbourne

Jena Colbourne is the owner of Connected Media Inc. o/a Lakeland Connect. As a founding member of the Lakeland Connect team, Jena oversees the content creation of the website and its social media presence. Armed with a marketing, management and communications background Jena enjoys the creative aspects of Lakeland Connect, as such she is able to navigate the online world with ease.

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