Members of the Burns Lake Curling Club consider the stair way that leads to the upstairs lounge unsafe because it is too steep.

Members of the Burns Lake Curling Club consider the stair way that leads to the upstairs lounge unsafe because it is too steep.

Burns Lake Curling Club members say they lost momentum

Members are now asking the village council for a five-year rent free agreement for the upstairs lounge.

At a regular council meeting of the Village of Burns Lake on Jan. 13, 2015, council heard the concerns of Burns Lake Curling Club members – Sandy Doré, Kevin White and Halley Finch. Doré read a letter to council explaining the club’s latest challenges.

According to Doré, the delay in the construction of the Lakeside Multiplex affected the Burns Lake Curling Club in negative ways.

The construction of the facility started in April 2013 and was supposed to be completed by November 2013. However, the construction was only completed in April 2014.

“The season came and went, and we weren’t opened,” said Doré.

While members could still curl during the construction, they could not access the bar or the upstairs lounge. The popular bonspiels that usually happen three times a year did not take place during that time. The club lost bar inventory, saw a decline in memberships as well as volunteers.

“We lost the momentum of our club,” said Doré. “We are now starting over with fewer volunteers and trying to rebuild momentum with the spirit, strength and participation we had prior to the construction [of the Lakeside Multiplex].”

Doré added that after the construction, the upstairs lounge was not cleaned up properly, there were holes on the walls to be filled and areas that needed to be repainted. In addition, she said the stair way isn’t safe and the reconfiguration of the downstairs area resulted in the loss of a suitable washroom facility for curlers.

“We feel that we’ve suffered a great deal over the past couple of years with the loss of membership, volunteers and revenue,” she said.

The club’s proposal to the village council included the operation of the upstairs lounge area on a “rent-free basis for five years with an annual review.”

Mayor Strimbold said the council will consider the request of the Burns Lake Curling Club during the next budget meeting on Jan. 22 at 6 p.m.