Nelson sports council to dissolve

The 17-year-old organization will cease to operate after backing out of an agreement to run the Civic Centre rink.

The Nelson Regional Sports Council is set to fold at its annual general meeting next month following the organization’s decision to cease management of the Civic Centre.

Sports council chair Mari Plamondon said Wednesday that the four remaining board members decided to resign after meeting with city councillors Val Warmington and Janice Morrison on Tuesday to discuss the future of the rink.

Plamondon said she was disappointed with how the partnership with the city ended, but that it makes sense.

“It was not an easy decision, but we recognized that it’s not really what our mandate as a sports council was all about and with the declining income we’re just not in a position to lose more money as we did with the bowling alley,” said Plamondon. “It was just a smart thing to do.”

Morrison declined to comment until the city and Regional District of Central Kootenay meet to discuss the issue next Tuesday.

The sports council, founded in 1999, took over management of the city-owned Civic Centre in 2006. The rink has since become an albatross for the sports council, which has lost $40,000 operating the 81-year-old venue since 2010.

City council, which has not increased its funding to the rink from $55,000 since the partnership began, rejected a sports council request in February for an extra $20,000 to help off-set the decline in revenue.

Plamondon said the healthy state of Nelson’s sports community also played a role in the sports council’s demise.

“We just are redundant,” she said. “We don’t need to exist. I think that sports has come a long way in Nelson and all the groups are managing just fine. So without the sports council having enough income to pay someone, like we had [Kim Palfenier] in our office digging up grants and finding opportunities for sports education and tourism in Nelson, there’s just not a purpose for us.”

The rink is the second venue the sports council has stepped away from. The council previously ran Savoy Lanes but cited significant financial losses when it ceased management in March 2015. The bowling alley shut down for good last month.

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