The Prince Rupert Golf Society is on the lookout for a new greens superintendent after being without one for the last two years. (Matthew Allen / Prince Rupert Northern View)

Golf course looking for greens superintendent

The Prince Rupert Golf Society is looking for funding for the position

The Prince Rupert Centennial Golf Course is searching for a new greens superintendent for the 2018 summer season.

Iain Cullen, president of the Prince Rupert Golf Society, said the course has been without a superintendent for the past few years, and it is critical that a qualified individual be identified to help with its maintenance.

“When it comes to greens and fertilizing and pesticides and looking at disease and how you cut the greens, it’s pretty technical and we haven’t had one for two years,” he said.

The position of greens superintendent is a specialized position. Professional greens keepers go to school for 4-5 years to learn the ins and outs of facility management and typically earn $65,000-$80,000 per year. Cullen said the society will not make any concrete decisions on the position until it can secure financing from the city or elsewhere to pay for it.

“Whether that’s through the back or one of these big companies somewhere,” he said.

Cullen said he hopes it is possible to find a qualified individual to manage the course as it is used throughout the season both by golf enthusiasts and organizations in Prince Rupert. In 2015, the Annual Charity Golf Scramble raised $20,000 for the Prince Rupert marine rescue and the hospice society. The Prince Rupert Fire Department also hosts their annual golf scramble at the course for its donation to the BC Burn Fund.

“The golf course is an attraction for having people come into the city,” Cullen said. “Not only that, it’s a venue for charities.”

Council denies grant requests to sports organizations

During its Dec. 4 meeting, town council voted to follow a recommendation by chief financial officer Corinne Bomben that it not increase the amount of the money allocated to its community enhancement grant in the upcoming year. Bomben said maintaining the current level of the grant is necessary for the city to maintain the community enhancement grant with minimal impacts to city taxes. The amount currently allocated in the budget for the grant is $1.7 million.

Several sporting organization’s requests for funding or funding increases were refused as a result of the decision. The Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society were denied $10,235 for 2018, which would have been a $3,235 increase from $7,000 in 2017. The Prince Rupert Curling Club was denied $200,000. The Prince Rupert Skating Club’a in-kind funding decreased from $2,905 in 2018 to $1,650. The Prince Rupert Rampage’s in-kind request of $4,100 was denied, as was the Prince Rupert Youth Soccer Association, who did not receive the $41,000 they requested and the Prince Rupert Chapter of Special Olympics BC, whose in-kind request for $1,764.

The golf course currently has a multi-year agreement with the city to cover its annual capital and operational expenses. The course currently received $135,000, $90,000 of which is allocated towards operational costs with the remaining $45,000 covering capital costs.

Before the vote, several councillor expressed regret that these organizations would not be receiving additional help from the city in 2018.

“It’d love to help the other groups,” said Coun. Wade Niesh. “But we’re just going to have to hold off this year and see what happens next year.”

Coun. Barry Cunningham said he hopes the groups that didn’t receive funding will apply again next year.

“Hopefully there’s a pot at the end of the rainbow and we’ll have more money next year with some of the announcements coming in,” he said.

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