Sports club gets needed boost

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

A res­cue pack­age for the Bay Roskill Sports Club has ended a long-run­ning dis­pute over prob­lems caused by poor drainage.

Auck­land City Coun­cil has granted the club $50,000 and ap­proved a $48,000 com­mu­nity loan.

The agree­ment was reached af­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions over who was re­spon­si­ble for drainage prob­lems which dam­aged the foun­da­tions of their clu­b­rooms.

The club be­lieved the dam­age was wors­ened by a cesspit con­nected to their prop­erty by the coun­cil in 1990, drain­ing wa­ter from sports fields on neigh­bour­ing Blockhouse Bay Re­serve.

While the coun­cil didn’t ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for the prob­lem, club sec­re­tary Mike Smith says he is pleased they can fi­nally fo­cus on the fu­ture.

“It’s just a mat­ter of shake hands and put the mat­ter to bed so we can start a new re­la­tion­ship.”

The money cov­ers a $100,000 bank over­draft the club took out to pay for foun­da­tion re­pair and a new drainage sys­tem.

Mr Smith says it would have been dif- fi­cult to pay off the over­draft without the coun­cil loan be­cause of min­i­mal in­come from other sources.

Bay Roskill also spent a $300,000 grant from the Portage Li­cens­ing Trust to rec­tify the build­ing’s foun­da­tion and drainage is­sues.

The fa­cil­i­ties are used for rugby league, Amer­i­can foot­ball, mar­tial arts and a form of non­con­tact rugby called ki­witag, be­cause Mr Smith says it’s not re­al­is­tic to base the club around one sport.

But to ex­tend its use to non-sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, the in­te­rior of the build­ing needs a ma­jor up­grade.

“Even­tu­ally we want to see the place used seven days a week for all sorts of com­mu­nity groups.

“Now we have done all the un­der­ground work, we want to to­tally gut the in­side and redo it.”

He says ev­ery­thing from the kitchen join­ery to toi­lets need re­plac­ing.

The club are cur­rently ap­ply­ing to sev­eral fund­ing bodies to fi­nance the up­grade.

Com­mu­nity ser­vices com­mit­tee chair­man Paul Gold­smith says the loan was ap­proved be­cause the sur­vival of clubs like Bay Roskill is im­por­tant to the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“We saw this as the best deal for the coun­cil, ratepay­ers and mem­bers of the club.”

Mike Smith

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