The Juan de Fuca (JDF) Curling Association is hoping the West Shore Parks and Recreation Society board will approve a business proposal to keep the curling rink open.
Earlier in May, the curling association presented a business proposal to the board at a regularly scheduled meeting. If the board approves it, the association will take over operations of the curling facility, keeping it from being shut down.
In March, the West Shore Parks and Recreation board announced its decision to close the curling rink that has been in use since 1975. The board plans to replace it with dry floor space, something that will be a better value for taxpayer money according to Jonathan Huggett, a project consultant for West Shore Parks and Recreation.
The board was supposed to get back to the curling association with a decision on June 3 but that date has now been postponed due to an ongoing review process according to West Shore Parks and Recreation acting administrator Sandy Clarke.
Clarke said there is no set date as to when a decision will be made.
“We’re kind of in limbo right now to be honest,” said Pei Mei Chia, JDF Curling Association president. “We’re just waiting for them to make a decision.”
Chia said the association wants to run the curling facilities and lease the space from West Shore Parks & Recreation. She said the report that was submitted included figures based on other curling clubs, like the Victoria Curling Club, to forecast what costs will be like.
“We were trying to be as realistic as possible,” Chia said. “It’s our goal to run the club on our own.”
However, West Shore Parks and Recreation just approved its annual budget, which accounts for reduced revenue and expenses from curling as well as new dry floor revenue and expenses.
“As far as everyone is concerned the curling rink is shut down until they tell us they will accept our business proposal,” Chia said. “I think in their mind they have shut us down … I’m hoping that when they look at the proposal they will see the light, so to speak, and see that we are 100 per cent committed to making this work.”
Clarke said that while the budget has been approved, it can be changed depending on what the board decides.
If the rink shuts down for good, Chia said the JDF Curling Association will not have a new home to go to. She said most of its 500 plus members will likely just stay at home. Other clubs in the area cannot accommodate all of the JDF Curling Association members, Chia said.
“We’re just being positive … We’re hoping they will come around.”