The new executive for the Rossland Curling Society received a break on its lease from city council at the Tuesday, Sept. 21, meeting. (Contributed)

The new executive for the Rossland Curling Society received a break on its lease from city council at the Tuesday, Sept. 21, meeting. (Contributed)

City of Rossland meets curling society halfway on lease increase

New Rossland Curling Society executive negotiate one year, 50 per cent break on lease agreement

Rossland council agreed to meet Rossland Curling Society (RCS) halfway at its Sept. 20 meeting.

The curling society voted in a new executive Monday, Sept. 19, and less than 24 hours later a delegation of new members of the executive attended the council meeting.

Faced with a 30 per cent lease increase, the executive informed council that they intended to have a season and agreed to raise their prices, but asked council to work with them so they could reach a longterm agreement that was equitable and sustainable.

“With the exception of one person, we are all new faces and hopefully new ideas and maybe a fresh perspective from our side,” said an executive member. “We are willing to work completely transparently with the city.

“Our whole attitude is what can we do to help, and how can we make this work?”

At an April meeting, council voted to increase the curling club’s rental by 30 per cent to $28,639 per year over a five-year contract. The amount is about $4,000 more per year to cover costs of running the facility, in addition to an annual increase proportional to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The number was based on the Recreation and Culture Cost Recovery Report that indicated the curling cost of the arena complex make up about 35 per cent of the operating costs.

RCS executive canvassed members, and the majority agreed to pay more to keep the club going, but wanted to make sure it would be sustainable.

“We lost over $3,500 last year, and we are suffering from the fallout of COVID as are a lot of clubs,” said the representative.

RCS is also undergoing a financial audit and said they will produce its financial statement as requested by the city once complete.

However, to run sustainably, the club will have a hard time meeting the 30 per cent lease increase as mandated.

“That is our predicament. We have two mandates, we have to try and run sustainably and we have to try and accommodate the city.”

Coun. Chris Bowman recommended that the society apply for COVID Community Support Fund grant, even though it is almost at its end.

Another new member offered several unique ideas to generate funds such as corporate sponsorship, selling merchandise, increase capacity to live events, and instruction.

Mayor Kathy Moore appreciated the energy and direction of the new executive. Near the end of the meeting Moore, impressed with the delegation and new members’ commitment, made a motion to extend the previous contract with only a CPI increase for another season.

However, Coun. Stewart Spooner pointed out that the society was willing to charge more and did have reserves.

“I think going back to the original contract sends the wrong message, but I’m prepared to meet them somewhere in between.”

Moore’s motion was defeated, but Spooner made an additional motion as a compromise to agree to a 15 per cent increase for one year, which passed unanimously.

Read: Rossland Curling Society requests review of lease agreement