Coronation Community Golf Club sees future downturn

Golfing, Stock Image
Written by Terri Huxley

With COVID-19 still on the rise within the province, the Coronation Community Golf Club is bracing for the impact.

On April 9, Alberta’s Chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw deemed golfing a non-essential service, putting many clubs in hot water financially.

Three members including club president Kelly Shaw and director Darryl Usselman were present at the Coronation council meeting on Mon. April 27 to present their struggles since this announcement.

Shaw warned they may ‘need some serious help’ when it comes to operations and wages.

“If we don’t open, it is going to be very costly,” said Shaw.

The only source of income they noted if they were to continue being completely shut down was through shed space rentals.

On Thurs. April 30, the province announced the beginning of rolling out a phased reopening with golfing as one of the first to do so which may help with Coronation’s golf course numbers in the near future.

Outside wages were seen as high after already having some cuts, while utilities would go down. 

Fertilizer and fungicide will continue on the same in price and service as they must stick to their program to keep the greens fresh.

Golf cart lease for the year was $6,000 but the company they lease from is entertaining the idea of letting them pay only half this year in relief.

Repairs and maintenance was ‘a shot in the dark’ as they are unsure what prices are for the work they need done.

The town has already agreed to provide $30,000 and $16,000 is in the club’s reserves.

With these numbers as a buffer, the total shortfall comes to $37,400 if the club remains closed.

There is, however, hope that the government may ease up on this, allowing courses to open but have strict rules in place like no use of golf carts, only people in the same household can play together, etc. to limit exposure but still allow people to exercise outdoors.

“I’m pretty sure we won’t fully open but I’m pretty sure it will partially open,” said Shaw.

“Now these numbers are just a guess and this is the opening day of June 1 if we have to wait that long. If it opens May 15, the numbers maybe a little better, right? Open more.”

Between liquor and concession sales, the club has been able to profit roughly $75,000 in years past.

“This is probably null but when you don’t have men’s nights or tournaments you’re going to lose a lot there. Like major.”

Memberships sit at $41,000 but for this year they think it will come to $25,000 with the way things are.

“We could be the busiest place in town, you never know,” said Shaw.

The use of cash to play a round would be down as well so they expect debit and credit card transactions to increase.

Coun. Vickey Horkoff via teleconference video asked if the town could possibly help with this to which the representatives were open to doing.

“We will do everything we can to monitor it. We know we won’t have any big moneymaker events,” he said.

They are looking at having a limit to how many people can be at the clubhouse at one time as well as potential subsidized memberships or payment plans

“Hopefully they will open things up,” said Coun. Keith Griffiths.

Council agreed to accept the presentation for information and will wait to hear more from the province before coming to a decision on whether to help in any capacity or not.

Fields Store closing

Rumours that the local Fields Store in town will be closing has been confirmed true after Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Quinton Flint was able to contact Jason McDougall, the CEO of Fields, Western Division.

After discussion, the CAO found the current owner to be more than willing to work with anyone willing to take over the store and was “very sympathetic in the fact that he knew that the store was important to the community but from a corporate standpoint they didn’t feel that the store was lucrative enough to keep open.”

McDougall did say, however, that he’d be interested in having an entrepreneur or younger person take it over ‘as a starting point in a business’.

“He was willing to support them financially to get them into the franchise. He was also very eager to assist with anyone who was willing to contact and help get them established in some way,” said CAO Flint.

For the time being, the store was looking at depleting its inventory over the next year as they don’t want to pay for moving costs.

“It’s not a very immediate thing but definitely true and was going to happen,” said Flint. 

“I did also express to him the actual importance of that location for our senior’s population and for many other residents that rely heavily on the store due to their limited ability to find transportation.”

Council accepted the information as presented and suggested they take this issue to the Paintearth Economic Partnership Society (PEPS) or Battle River Economic Opportunity Committee (BREOC).

 

COVID-19 Deferral of tax and utility payments

With the current progression and the increasing numbers with the COVID-19 pandemic, the municipal administration has been frequently asked by residents about deferrals on utilities and taxes.

Currently, the Provincial government has deferred natural gas payments for 90 days, student loans, and many banks have also provided various avenues of assistance as well.

Council, after discussion on the issue, agreed to defer all municipal utilities, taxes and penalties for a period of one month, with the following recommended deferral dates Aug. 1, 2020 to Sept. 1, 2020.

Councillors enquired as to how many people have approached the town already with this request and CAO Flint replied with two within the last month.

People who do choose to take this deferral are still obligated to pay the funds back eventually.

“I think that it does show we are kind of trying to help people,” said Coun. Horkoff, “but it also doesn’t put us in too big of trouble.”

FCSS Office painting

At the April 6 regular meeting, administration was directed to obtain three quotes for the FCSS office painting project.

Coun. Jackie Brigley abstained from the conversation and the vote due to conflict of interest as she submitted her own quote to paint the office for $1,684.

Roger Golby also sent a quote for labour and materials to paint the office excluding storage rooms at a price of $1,675.

There is a budget allocation for repair and maintenance of $500.

Although the town approached two other contractors, no quote was received from Bob Long as well as JG Brigley.

Council passed a motion to go with Roger Golby’s quote as it was the lowest bid.

Trailer removal 

Terry Couturier, a County of Paintearth resident has approached the town asking for one of the trailer units located 5125 Railway Ave as is.

The town is already removing others from the area. 

Councillors were hesitant to accept this request as the county has yet to allow this either so they req