Gilwood Golf Club made a presentation to tri-council last week, asking for a tax break and/or a grant to get it out of the red and back into the black.
“We need your support,” said Gilwood manager Tom Tippin, adding, “Golf courses do go away.”
It wasn’t the first time Gilwood had made such a request of the group. The last time several measures were suggested for improving profits and/or cutting costs. Tippin said every one of them had been acted upon. He urged the members to consider Gilwood in the same category as other vital recreational infrastructure, such as arenas, pools and ball diamonds. The golf course is an important component of the overall tourism strategy, he added.
Councillor Darin Busk of the town, for one, seemed to be in support.
“We should step up to the plate,” he said.
Mayor Tyler Warman was more cautious.
“It would be a shame to see it go sideways,” he admitted, but what council has to ask itself is “where does the money come from, and how much? And if we do, how many other groups might come asking?”
Warman also mentioned that tri-council “isn’t sitting on a pile of money,” so it’s up to the individual member councils to decide whether to contribute or not. As in the case of the Devonshire Beach decision, he said town council’s willingness to participate would likely depend, “on what our partners are going to do.”
Councillor Brad Pearson of the M.D. asked if the Gilwood board had a plan for paying off its $62,000 debt. It does, said Tippin, over five years.
Councillor Brian Rosche of the M.D. asked about youth membership. Tippin said the successful youth program had 63 members last year, and there are plans this year to get teen members into competitive golf.
Council said they’d be getting back to Gilwood in the next few weeks.