The Government of Alberta, the M.D. of Bonnyville, the Town of Bonnyville, and the Bonnyville Golf and Country Club are committed to keeping the grass green for golfers with a combined investment to keep the grass watered with the replacement and repair of the current irrigation system for the club.
On Aug 19, Elected Officials gathered at the golf course to make the announcement. The total project cost is $1,300,000.
Bill Rogers is the Chief Administration Officer (CAO) for the town of Bonnyville.
“The golf course was successful in obtaining a $500,000 grant from the province for doing irrigation upgrades to the golf course which is a project that’s been needing to be done for many years,” CAO Rogers told Lakeland Connect. ” The Town of Bonnyville Council has agreed to contribute $100,000 to the project, and the M.D. of Bonnyville has contributed $350,000 to the project and then the golf course is doing extra fundraising on top of that.”
The remaining $350,000 is being raised by the Bonnyville Golf and Country Club. CAO Rogers says the entire project is the better part of the million dollars and it’s going ahead thanks to the partnership with the province and the two municipalities and the club.
“It’s a real gem for the Town of Bonnyville and the M.D. of Bonnyville,” CAO Rogers said referring to the golf course. “It does draw a lot of people but it’s also important from an employment perspective, there’s a lot of spin-off benefits to supporting a business such as this, and it’s very carefully run by the golf society which is a nonprofit organization. So we’re glad to support it, we’ve always supported the local golf club.”
Maurice Mercier is President of the Bonnyville Golf and Country Club and says the current system for keeping the grass green was failing.
“This project is an irrigation restoration or replacement project, the current system is 30 years old and it was failing,” President Mercier told Lakeland Connect. “I mean it was still repairable, but at some point, it would have been a disastrous failure. You can’t have a golf course without an irrigation system and we feel we’re a very important part of the community, not just for members but for tourists. It’s beautiful when you drive into town and we didn’t want to see the course turned back into a cattle pasture.”
Kevin Bushore is the Vice President of the Bonnyville Golf and Country Club and says that a catastrophic failure of the irrigation system would actually cost the club more money and welcomes the investment of the $500,000 Community Facilities Enhancement Program grant from the Government of Alberta and the funding provided by the two municipalities.
“The amount of time to repair and try to live alone on an irrigation system that’s failing and busting pipes everywhere and you’re digging up the entire system and repairing it would be more than replacing it completely with a high-density polyethylene system,” Vice President Bushore said. ” It will probably last 100 years. This last system, we got 25 years out of it, it’s been failing and costing us in repairs and loss of irrigation to the grass on this golf course.”
Bushore says it is absolutely tantamount to golfers to be able to play on a nice green golf course, rather than having burnt grass and no irrigation.
MLA Dave Hanson of Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul and Minister of Culture Ron Orr were on hand for the announcement.
“A big portion of the funding was from the province and we’re very proud to support that and thank you to Minister Orr for being here today,” MLA Hanson said.
MLA Hanson says a big part of securing the funding from the province was because of the Minister of Culture.
“We’ve all been through 18 months of a really hard time with COVID-19, and the opportunity for people to get out and socialize and have some physical activity,” Minister of Culture Orr said referring to the benefits of keeping the grass green in Bonnyville. “It also renews their mental health or emotional health. It helps Albertans to feel like, life is gonna go on well. And so it’s important for us to support these kinds of projects.”
A joint effort for irrigation that will keep the grass green for golfers in Bonnyville for years to come.