City handed gymnastics funding request

GVAC directors motion for North Valley Gymnastics Society request be turned over to city

A funding request by a Vernon gymnastics group has been bounced over to the City of Vernon.

The North Valley Gymnastics Society had appeared before the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee last month asking for $450,000 toward costs associated with its renovation of a new facility on 31st Street near Chasers Bottle Depot.

Thursday morning, GVAC directors motioned for the request to go through the city because parks and recreation services fall under the city umbrella, and also because the city is currently undertaking a new master recreation plan.

RELATED: Gymnastics club hoping for construction cash

“In that plan, there will be decisions about a new pool and a new gymnastics centre; those discussions will be had,” said Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund. “GVAC does not have a function where they run parks and recreation anymore, that falls under Vernon and Vernon comes back to parnters Coldstream and (Regional District of North Okanagan) Areas B and C for funding their allocation toward that, typically as we’ve done with GVAC before. We will look at this.”

GVAC Coldstream director Doug Dirk said there is merit toward supporting the society’s request as they have long, accomplished, self-sustaining history in the community.

“One common thing, though, is we’ve always had a stake in it,” said Dirk, a reference to other applications that have come before GVAC from a variety of groups. “In this situation, that needs to be resolved. In the past, we haven’t just granted money that we didn’t have some sort of stake in it.”

Club spokesperson Paul Williamson, who made the application to GVAC, has no problem with that or another GVAC concern about club availibility to the public.

“We can register them on title,” said Williamson. “The club has been available to the public for 25 years. We’ve had waiting lists, sometimes between 75 and 100. A new facility would open us up to serve more clients.”

Williamson also reduced his funding request to $225,000 before May 31, the group’s targeted opening date at its new facility.

“I thought it would be an easier pill for the board to swallow as $450,000 is a big ask,” he said. “So I split it in half and asked for it ASAP to help us. We will look for other sources of funding if we can’t get it in the next couple of months.”

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