SG says ‘No’ to golf club

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News

BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL

Staff South Glen­garry coun­cil last week de­nied an ear­lier re­quest from rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Corn­wall Golf and Coun­try Club (CGCC) to en­ter into a strate­gic part­ner­ship with the town­ship – a re­la­tion­ship that would have in­cluded fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tions to­wards a hand­ful of pro­posed events at the Glen Wal­ter fa­cil­ity.

“At this point...we’re es­sen­tially rec­om­mend­ing to deny their re­quest, based on the poli­cies that are in place,” Ewen Mac­Don­ald, the town­ship’s gen­eral man­ager of in­fra­struc­ture ser­vices, said dur­ing the June 17 reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing.

The CGCC amended its let­ters patent to be­come a not-for profit cor­po­ra­tion with­out share cap­i­tal in Fe­bru­ary 2018.

How­ever, Deputy-Mayor Lyle War­den still wasn’t on board with their re­quest.

“I, 100 per cent sup­port staff in this mat­ter,” said the deputy­mayor.

“I re­al­ize this is kind of a dif­fer­ent model (for a golf course), but I’m not in favour of giv­ing them any­thing.

“I wish them well. Maybe in the fu­ture, there will be part­ner­ships, but I’m not pre­pared at this time.”

Coun­cil­lor Stephanie Ja­worski had a pair of ques­tions re­gard­ing two com­po­nents of the golf club’s re­quest.

One in­quiry cen­tred around a re­quest for $12,500 yearly to sup­port a pro­posed South Glen­garry Golf Days pro­gram whereby town­ship res­i­dents could en­joy two free days on the links at the club, on the town­ship’s tab.

“Do we have com­mu­nity mem­bers com­ing to us ask­ing about golf? I’m just cu­ri­ous if that’s some­thing peo­ple talk about,” said Coun. Ja­worski.

“Not to my knowl­edge, no,” replied Joanne Ha­ley, the town­ship’s gen­eral man­ager of com­mu­nity ser­vices.

Coun. Ja­worski also won­dered whether the mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­ceived many re­quests for hall space in Glen Wal­ter, a ques­tion based on the golf club rep­re­sen­ta­tives’ pro­posal of a for­mal part­ner­ship (at an an­nual cost of $15,000) be­tween the town­ship and the club for the use of the lat­ter’s fa­cil­i­ties as a Glen Wal­ter and Area com­mu­nity hall.

“Par­tic­u­larly for meet­ing space, we don’t get a lot of re­quests,” said Mrs. Ha­ley.

“If there is ever a need for meet­ing space, then we would di­rect the in­di­vid­u­als to the Pre­cious Blood parish. The base­ment there is avail­able to us on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.”

Mrs. Ha­ley added “that re­la­tion­ship works quite well...and they (the church) often of­fer it at no cost.”

Mr. Mac­Don­ald pointed out that the town­ship also “has space” at the lo­cal fire hall which it has made avail­able to Glen Wal­ter res­i­dents over the years.

The third com­po­nent of the CGCC fund­ing/part­ner­ship re­quest was for $16,500 an­nu­ally for a Mayor’s Char­ity Golf Tour­na­ment.

“There wasn’t re­ally any ap­petite in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to host an­other (char­ity) golf tour­na­ment,” ex­plained Mr. Mac­Don­ald.

“There are more than enough golf tour­na­ments to at­tend, and coun­cil’s time is very pre­cious. So...that didn’t feel to be a war­ranted re­quest.”

Rick Ea­mon, CGCC pres­i­dent, made a pre­sen­ta­tion to coun­cil in Jan­uary, “re­quest­ing fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance from the town­ship in the form of ser­vices ren­dered” – the afore­men­tioned three re­quests – and point­ing out that the club “has been de­vel­oped and is op­er­ated by a group of com­mu­nity lead­ers at no cost to the tax­pay­ers of the town­ship.”

The Corn­wall Golf and Coun­try Club was es­tab­lished more than a cen­tury ago – in 1896 – and has been lo­cated at its present site on Suther­land Av­enue in Glen Wal­ter since 1926.

It was orig­i­nally in­cor­po­rated as a not-for-profit cor­po­ra­tion with share cap­i­tal, with the money raised from the sale of shares used to pur­chase the land, con­struct the golf course and club­house, and pur­chase any nec­es­sary equip­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the CGCC, ap­prox­i­mately half of its cur­rent 425 mem­bers are South Glen­garry res­i­dents.

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