Nelson sports council to remain intact for another year

Surprise decision was made following last week's annual general meeting.

L-R: Nelson Regional Sports Council board members Nancy Quackenbush

There’s nothing for them to do but the Nelson Regional Sports Council will remain intact for at least another year.

Council chair Mari Plamondon said the decision was reached Wednesday following last week’s annual general meeting. The remaining board members had previously decided to dissolve, but Plamondon said her mind was changed by city councillor Janice Morrison and former board member Kim Palfenier.

“I am willing to stay on and give it life for however long it takes,” said Plamondon.

Just four board members remained at the AGM on June 29. Nancy Quackenbush resigned after the meeting, and Plamondon said she’s still waiting to hear if Deb Smith and Alex Ulaszonek will return along with two other people who have shown interest.

The sports council was essentially made moot in May after it handed the keys to the Civic Arena back to the city, which it had run since 2006.

At the time, one of the reasons for backing out of the 81-year-old facility was a steady decline in ice rental revenue. However, the latest financial report shows that revenue actually had a marginal increase from $98,317 to $100,349 over the last fiscal year. That will be good news for the Regional District of Central Kootenay, which is taking over management of the rink.

Other points of interest in the sports council’s financial report included:

• The council ended the year with a loss of $16,013. The main reasons provided for this were $11,264 in grant funds repaid to the Columbia Basin Trust, as well as $25,626 paid out to Palfenier, who up until last August had previously worked in the council’s lone paid position.

• The council no longer has any members, which raises the question about how they will be able to elect a new board.

• The council still has $70,857 in assets. Of that, $32,108 has been earmarked for the Civic Arena’s zamboni, which needs repairs and may be replaced. Some of the remaining $38,749 will be used to pay bills through the end of July, while Plamondon isn’t sure yet what will happen with the rest. “We will do whatever is the most fiscally responsible thing to do with that money, for sure,” she said.

Plamondon said she thinks the council still has a role to play in Nelson, even if she isn’t yet sure what that will be. Last month, the Nelson and District Recreation Commission approved the creation of a recreation co-ordinator position that would essentially replace any need for the council.

How that person works with the council, such as it is, remains to be seen.

“It makes me wonder where the sports council stands with that person in place, whether we can work hand-in-hand …,” said Plamondon. “We’ll just have to see where that conversation ends up.”

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