Misunderstanding about grant request

We accepted the invitation so the mayor and council could better appreciate the role the society plays within the wider community.

Dear Editor:

Your front page article, ‘Funding requests rejected’ (May 30), implies the Summerland Recreation Society (operator of the Lakeshore Racquets Club) approached the municipal council with cap in hand to ask for money to upgrade its parking lot. This is an inaccurate perception.

Firstly, the society’s request for funding wasn’t specifically to repair our pot-holed filled parking lot but rather to help us maintain and upgrade the entire Lakeshore Racquets Club grounds and facility.

This has been necessitated by a nearly trebling in the club’s municipal property taxes over the past seven years, from $7,200 in 2006 to $19,700 this year. Property tax now accounts for 54 per cent of the club’s total annual expenditure.

Secondly, it was District of Summerland staff who suggested and arranged for us to present to council members.

We accepted the invitation so the mayor and council could better appreciate the role the society plays within the wider Summerland community.

The Lakeshore Racquets Club grounds are essentially viewed by the public as an extension of the lakeshore public park system.

In fact, the grounds are not municipal but are Crown lands that have been leased to the club since 1976.

The popular lakeshore footpath runs straight through the Racquets Club’s property, and all the park land around it is maintained by volunteer club members.

The society also keeps its parking lot open for public use.

At the height of the summer, many people choose to leave their cars in the shade of the club’s parking lot while spending their day at Rotary Beach, which does not have sufficient parking on its own.

The society has always made the club’s tennis and squash courts available for public use on a walk-on basis. We also make our facilities and coaches available to schools, summer camps and the District of Summerland itself to deliver programming, phys ed classes and extra curricular activities for youth.

In denying our application for grant in aid, we feel council has not fully understood or appreciated the Summerland Recreation Society’s larger community service role.

Bill Everitt, John Rousseau, Doug Holmes, Bev Russell, Marian Dunn, Bob Mack, Tricia Hoyer, Michael Weis, Alex Thistlewood

Summerland

Recreation Society

Summerland