Proposed grant would give much-needed aid to Saskatoon curling, sports activities organizations – Saskatoon

A proposed Saskatoon grant program could provide much-needed relief for curling clubs and some other recreational and sports organizations.

The Granite Curling Club in Saskatoon said it was badly hit by the pandemic.

The club said paying property taxes used to be a struggle, but now it’s an even bigger problem.

“For many clubs, this is the second largest business expense we have,” said General Manager Steve Turner.

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He said the building and the land it stands on belong to the curling club. As a nonprofit, it is more difficult to comply with monthly property taxes of $ 42,000.

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In addition, the club’s taxes rose following property revaluations this summer.

“One of the clubs is up 66 percent,” said Turner.

“At this club we have property tax over $ 50,000 a year, one of the others over $ 80,000 a year.”

The proposed grant would help Saskatoon curling clubs and several other recreational and sports organizations.

It would provide complete exemption from city and library taxes, as well as education wealth tax. The grant is said to be up to $ 200,000 per year.

Around six to eight municipal organizations are eligible.

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“You have to be non-profit,” said City Councilor Mairin Loewen.

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“They must have their own facility and offer recreational opportunities in the community.”

Turner said the curling club was closed for 11 months during the COVID-19 pandemic, which did not help her financial situation.

“It’s obviously been a difficult couple of years,” said Loewen, speaking about curling clubs across Saskatoon.

“Even before the pandemic, there were concerns about the ability to be sustainable and continue to provide recreational space for the community.”

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The city said recreational and sports organizations like curling clubs had problems in the west.

“Based on the information we have received from other communities, I would say that across western Canada they are facing similar challenges as our curling clubs here,” said Andrew Roberts, director of recreation and community development.

Granite’s club was built in 1965. After so many years, Turner said it would be nice to put some money into upgrades.

“The clubs are aging and the equipment is aging and there is a cost to that and we have to do that and take care of it ourselves,” he said.

“This will be an opportunity to reinvest in a club and make sure we stay here for the long term.”

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Turner said curling clubs are pulling visitors and their wallets into town. For example, Saskatoon is hosting the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials starting November 20th.

The eight-day trails are expected to raise more than $ 10 million for the local economy.

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Turner said charities and similar organizations are, in turn, helping the city across the board.

“It’s definitely a give and take,” he says.

The grant will be presented to the city council for approval at its meeting later this month.

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