Financial Status of Our Club

Before becoming a member on our Executive Committee I never gave any thought to the club’s financial status or what it costs to operate a lawn bowling club. If you are anything like me then you might have spent as much time thinking about our financial status as I did.

Today I want to give you a picture of what it costs to run our fine organization and a little history on how we paid for the Anderson House renovation, as it plays heavily into our current financial status.

OBLBC has always prided itself on being a multi-faceted volunteer oriented club for the labour intensive jobs – 

  • greens maintenance
  • building upkeep
  • grounds & gardens
  • tournaments
  • house & social

and our behind the scene jobs  – 

  • executive
  • hygiene engineers
  • locker organization
  • Sunshine person

(just to name a few).

Greens maintenance was done by a dedicated crew of members year round doing all aspects of the job:

  • cutting/mowing 3 times/week
  • applying fertilizer           
  • patching ‘divots’             
  • seeding & re-seeding areas          
  • coring & sanding           
  • repairing backboards & plinths
  • doing moss & weed control                
  • cleaning sand ditches               
  • ordering & picking up supplies
  • removal of grass cuttings                  
  • maintaining & operating machinery

As time passed, fewer and fewer volunteers participated in maintaining the greens as it was quite taxing on one’s physical abilities, they didn’t feel they had the expertise or they didn’t wish to offer that much of their time.

To ease this issue the club moved to a contract provider but they did not meet the same quality of maintenance as what was done by our volunteers.  We now have an excellent contractor that is bringing our greens back to the condition that will, over the next two years, be the envy of most BSI clubs.

Another aspect of the club that has been sourced out is the cleaning of the clubhouses which used to be done by rotating teams of volunteer members but it was getting difficult to fill these teams.  This job entails cleaning of the washrooms, vacuuming, dusting, washing kitchen & bar floors, refilling supplies and general tidying of the areas.

The club avoided the expensive costs now incurred when volunteers provided these services.  The financial savings gained each year helped to purchase the greens machinery that we have today, new club entrance sign, a more efficient sprinkler system, new bowl rakes/pushers and a host of other items needed by the club.  As well the surplus built up over the past 10-12 years (now depleted) was used for the Anderson House renovation.

With that in mind what does it cost to keep our club operational?

  • greens maintenance contract    $27,000 per year
  • utilities (hydro, heat, telephone, internet, cleaning)        $800+ per month

To add to these fixed costs there are also paper products, engraving trophies, garden supplies/equipment upkeep, the website, insurance, Bowls BC fees, bar license and the list goes on.  Our yearly expenses are well over $80,000 and that does not include the cost of the Anderson House renovation.

Membership fees do not cover our expenses but we do have other small income sources that are helping to keep our expenses under control but with no savings we will be unable to purchase anything other than basic necessities. If there is a greens equipment breakdown or more vandalism we would be hard pressed to find money to cover these expenses.

The executive continues to look at grants that we can apply for and have been fortunate that we’ve been successful on the ones thus far.  The grants are not guaranteed to be given every year or for the same amount.  Some grants require the applicant to supply a percentage of the overall price (to cost share the project) up to 25 or 50% of the total cost of the project.  With no reserve funds those types of grants are out of our reach.

So in a nutshell that’s our fiscal picture as it stands now, it is a bit grim but it’s still quite workable.

A letter to the membership from Shelley Sidel (Treasurer) will be posted on the Member’s Only page early next week seeking donations to help ensure that we can continue to pay for our greens maintenance (Gaming Commission funding will be depleted in February) and operating expenses.

Over time we will be able to rebuild our reserves but we are asking members to assist by giving a donation of any amount to see us through this rough patch, everything will help.

Thanks for your consideration and understanding of our current state of affairs.    

Brent Merchant     
OBLBC President