With vital information not yet available to them, last Wednesday’s meeting of the Estevan Woodlawn Golf Club membership didn’t quite go the way the executive expected.
When they set the date last month, executive members had expected to find out in advance how much money they are receiving from their insurance policy and the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP).
Neither figure is known yet, meaning no decisions were reached Wednesday on issues, such as whether to restore the back nine to its 2010 state or push forward with a planned re-design.
“When you wait for things, it’s frustrating,” Woodlawn general manager Brian Dueck told members.
“I wish we could give you more information … it’s not for a lack of trying.”
PDAP completed its inspection of the course the day of the meeting and is expected to report back to the executive on Friday at the earliest.
It’s not known when the insurance picture will clear up. That money would apply only to the clubhouse. There is no estimate on the cost of those repairs yet.
The membership passed a motion giving the executive permission to borrow up to $350,000 from Spectra Credit Union to help with “anything we can’t handle with cash in order to get the front nine ready,” according to treasurer Ward Tuttle.
The creation of a fundraising committee was also authorized, with a handful of people volunteering to sit on it. One or two more members will be solicited.
A lengthy discussion was held on the matter of what to do with the back nine.
Prior to the flooding, a plan had been in place to begin a re-design next year.
Several in the audience expressed derision toward the notion of restoring the back nine next year, only to turn around in two years and begin the re-design.
Tuttle responded that only two years would be a very aggressive schedule and would require a substantial increase in membership fees.
He estimated that a restore would have the back nine open by July 2012 in a best-case scenario, while a re-design would see the holes closed until sometime in 2013.
A member on the floor noted that “We need to do the right thing for the course long-term and not be selfish” about being able to play as soon as possible.
The decision on whether to restore or re-design needs to be made before the spring AGM so that the 2012 budget can be completed.
The issue of what to do with membership dues was the most hotly contested of the night.
The meeting agenda contained two options: to donate the money, receive a tax receipt and be upgraded to a new loyalty membership; or request a full or partial refund.
Members strongly objected to the idea of a loyalty membership, calling it “two tiers of membership” and saying it creates the impression that some members are better than others, as well as a lack of confidentiality with some getting loyalty bag tags.
The point was also raised that long-time members who have donated to the club in the past did not receive the same recognition.
One person suggested a third option, to lend the dues to the course and have them pay it back over an agreed term, with no interest.
Another felt the option of donating the money was blackmail, with the executive holding the future of the course over members’ heads. That person suggested the executive refund all money and rely more on the fundraising committee, suggesting that most people would probably turn around and donate the money back to the course.
However, it was noted that this course of action would not allow the issuing of tax receipts.
Scott Blackstock, who holds the record for the lowest round at Woodlawn, ended the protracted debate by making a motion to amend the original motion, removing any mention of a loyalty membership. This was carried.
It was noted that another members meeting may be held in the fall after the executive has a better idea of the financial figures they are dealing with.