Letter to Members: Fee Increase

Hello Fellow Huntley Curling Club Members,

As this season draws to a close, preparations for next have already started. Earlier in March we (the Board of Directors) announced the new fee structure for next season.

This letter aims to address the issues our Club faces and how the new fee structure will help the Club overcome these challenges. We will outline the rationale for these two items:

  • League increase fee ($20 for all leagues except Unlimited evening)
  • Capital fee (new)

$20 League Increase in League Fees

Club costs are on the rise – maintenance, utilities etc. – as is the effort to sustain Club operations.

Utilities aside, the fee increase will help offset the cost for a Club Manager. We have more than 400 adult members and about 100 youth members. With size comes increased complexity and volume of activity.

Member volunteerism has kept our costs low and brought us to where we are today. In the past, we have relied on volunteers to help with building maintenance and organize club favourite and revenue-generating events such as the Carp Fair activities, bonspiels and community involvement. Everyone appreciates those who come out and put in their time making these events happen and for the most part, getting volunteers to come out on the day of events is not the problem for our Club.

The major issue we are facing is having individuals volunteer to organize events, and coordinate all of the volunteers and tasks for the event. We do understand that most members have busy lives that don’t afford us the time to make major time commitments to organize these activities. That being said, when that higher level of organization is missing, things fall apart.

To help remedy this issue, in the fall of 2018 your Board of Directors hired an interim club manager on a trial basis to see how impactful the position could be. This season, we have had some very successful events largely due to the manager’s organization and oversight: New Year’s Eve party, The Last Rock Bonspiel, U5 (new curlers) Bonspiel. In addition, much of the club’s bookkeeping was maintained, areas for expense reduction were identified, and resulted in our Treasurer to focus on strategic issues like capital planning.

It is the recommendation of the Board that a full-time Manager is contracted going forward to provide oversight and organization where the Club needs it the most.

Capital Fee (The sky’s the limit as long as we have a roof over our heads)

Our building was built over forty years ago in 1978. In the early 1980s the club was expanded adding two more sheets. Both the roof and the equipment that keeps the ice working are old and needs replacing.

On March 2nd the Club held a general meeting that explained the dire situation of the roof that’s over our heads. Engineering studies have stated we have approximately five years before we face significantly bigger roof problems than drops onto sheets three and four. The bottom line – our roof needs to be replaced and that’s a big $350K – $450K expense!

The current capital reserve fund will be substantially reduced this summer with necessary upgrades to ice equipment. Like the roof, if we don’t buy this equipment, our curling surface is at risk.

The $50 capital fee begins the fundraising for the forthcoming capital projects. You can rest assured that the funds from each member will be sent directly to a capital fund, and not be deployed to pay for any operating expenses.

Increasing fees is a fine mix of emotion and business – the money that keeps our club running so we can play the sport we love. We’re hoping this letter helps to explain why the fee increases are appropriate to meet the business needs of our curling club.

Please feel welcome to approach any Board Member with questions about next year’s fee structure.

Thank you.