The City of Whitehorse has approved a new nine-year lease with the Whitehorse Curling Club for space at the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre.
The lease passed third and final reading Monday night.
Approving the lease hasn’t been a smooth ride. Club members have come to council in previous weeks to say the cost is too great for the club’s approximately 300 members to bear. The club has run a deficit for the last couple of years.
The nine-year lease, to begin this September, would see rent rise from the $35,000 the club currently pays annually to $37,162 in the first year. In the last year, rent would be $56,022. The club would also get 40 free hours in the Grey Mountain room each year.
It also means curlers will have to pay 10 per cent more, club president Mark Evans said on Monday. This means individuals will be paying about $20 more to curl, he said.
The board of directors is prepared to sign the lease, Evans said. “I just think it’s time for the club to move on,” he said. Members have been divided about the lease, and have spent a lot of time discussing it, he said. The club was supposed to sign a 10-year lease with the city last year. But after curlers protested the costs, the city reached a one-year agreement with the club.
Now the club needs to focus on other priorities, like fundraising, said Evans.
Not all city councillors were in favour of the lease. Coun. Kirk Cameron voted against it. He wanted the city to sign a one-year lease with the club so a more affordable solution could be found. This would also give the city time to complete a review of how it grants money to different not-for-profit organizations.