Vernon gymnastics club appeal to council for $75,000 grant - InfoNews

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Vernon gymnastics club appeal to council for $75,000 grant

North Valley Gymnastics Society board members Garry Mugridge, Robin Nanji, and Paul Williamson are appealing to the City for a $75,000 grant to cover construction costs for the new gym.
February 25, 2019 - 3:51 PM

VERNON - North Valley Gymnastics Society is asking Vernon council for a $75,000 grant to cover outstanding debts following construction of their new facility in 2018.

At a presentation at the City's council meeting Feb. 25 club director Paul Williamson said they need the money as soon as possible. Williamson told if council didn't approve the grant the society would have to "reconsider its options."

The club originally applied for $225,000 of financial support from the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee (GVAC) in February 2018 and received support in principle, pending the approval of the other partners in greater Vernon. 

The City of Vernon supported the society in principle in March 2018, and the regional district followed suit giving their support in September 2018. The District of Coldstream passed a motion of support in principle in May 2018 but in December withdrew that support after a tied vote by councillors meant the grant wasn't approved.

Williamson said the funds were needed to cover capital costs of the construction. Williamson said a construction company is owed $24,000, due in November 2018 among other debts. The club's presentation stated the society has a $1.2 million mortgage and $124,000 over and above the mortgage.

Vernon city councillor Kari Gares asked what the economic spin-offs would be if a grant was given. Williamson said the club was talking to the Vernon School District and that the new facility could accommodate students from elsewhere. Councillor Brian Quiring praised the construction of the new building saying the club had gone a "good job."

City staff pointed out there is currently no programs that would grant a sum as large as $75,000 in place.

Council were told the gymnastics society had seen 12 per cent growth per year in membership in recent years and currently had over 600 kids registered in gymnastics - slightly more than had registered in Greater Vernon Minor Hockey.

Vernon councillors didn't vote on the matter and it's unclear if and how it will proceed. 

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