Coach Naomi Rokus helps competitive gymnast Carys Reed on the uneven bars Thursday in North Valley Gymnastics’ current location. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

Coach Naomi Rokus helps competitive gymnast Carys Reed on the uneven bars Thursday in North Valley Gymnastics’ current location. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

Gymnastics funding request remains on floor

Electoral areas and Coldstream to discuss construction costs request for North Valley Gymnastics

The North Valley Gymnastics Society continues to tumble through hoops and barrels as opposed to pommel horses and floor mats as it seeks funding to help with construction costs of its new, renovated facility.

The local organization has requested $225,000 for the facility on 31st Street near Chasers Bottle Depot which is more than 80 per cent complete and scheduled to open at the end of this month.

The society first approached Greater Vernon Advisory Committee for the cash, who then deferred the matter to the City of Vernon which oversees recreation services. The city agreed to support the request in principle pending support from member jurisdictions, referring to the District of Coldstream and Electoral Areas B (BX-Swan Lake) and C (BX-Silver Star) and sent the matter back to GVAC.

At its regular monthly meeting Thursday, the society was told by GVAC that each member jurisdiction will have to support the request and support must be unanimous.

Coldstream council will discuss the matter while the electoral areas will bring up the request at the electoral areas advisory committee meeting.

“We didn’t go through the recreation process when they originally came to us,” said GVAC chairperson Juliette Cunningham. “That’s what we’re trying to do now. We realized it’s important people follow a process and that includes us. We’re following the process laid out in recreation agreement. It will give the opportunity for each of the jurisdictions if they want to be part of this.

“The only thing will be the timing around the funding available. Budgets have been done at all levels so is it something we’re not going to be able to accommodate this year, so the request will have to come from somewhere, that’s what we’ll find out.”

Areas B and C and Coldstream pay into the $1.1 million recreation function. The electoral areas shares are more than $16,000 while Coldstream pays more than $35,000.

Directors Bob Fleming (Area B) and Mike Macnabb (Area C) expressed concerns about the request, both wondering if the society’s request is a one-time grant application.

“The timing of this seems odd,” said Fleming. “If we invest in something, we usually get something. We don’t seem to have any participation in this. It’s just a grant.”

Macnabb called for more information from staff as to the best direction on how to proceed with the request.

“I don’t want to enter into something that obliges my residents to pay for something, you know, the average age is 60, I don’t think we have a lot of tumbling going on,” he said. “We have to be very careful. What are we trying to accomplish here?”

Paul Williamson, speaking on behalf of the society, said he remains optimistic the request will pass.

“I see progress,” he said. “There is reluctance on setting a precedent or increasing their annual budget, but that’s not what we’re asking them to do. We’re asking for the money to come out of their existing budget and that’s where the rub is.”

Vernon Morning Star