Charge for sports club using reserves looked at

TOUGH GOING:: Small clubs like the Darfield Tennis Club struggling to pay their leases may get a helping hand through a district-wide charge for sport users at recreation reserves.

A district-­wide charge could be brought in for all sports clubs using recreational reserves.

The district council is considering bringing in a consistent charge to help address ongoing issues for sports clubs struggling to pay their leases.

District council open spaces and property manager Mark Rykers said it wants to charge the same for all recreation reserve users because the current situation is very “complicated” and “confusing.”

“In some cases no fees are charged and in others a fee is levied for the same level of service.

“The movement to district­wide rate provides an opportunity to review this situation and see how a more consistent approach could be achieved that is fair,” he said.

It comes as the Darfield Tennis Club is facing challenges over covering high costs to use the Darfield Domain, a Malvern Community Board report said.

At issue, is the cost of the lease rental, rates and outgoings that the tennis club is required to meet ­impacting what club members pay in subscriptions.

“The cost for the tennis club to use the Darfield Domain is $500 plus GST per annum while the for the 2018/19 year is $870.20 and see how a more consistent approach could be achieved that is fair,” he said.

The consistent rate for sports users will be reviewed by a district council working party, which will begin later this year.

What the rate will be is yet to be determined, Mr Rykers said.

He said because this is a complex matter, no specific time line has been implemented for the review.

It is being looked at after a Selwyn­-wide rate for community centres, halls and reserves was approved in the Long Term Plan 2018­2028.

The district council is responsible for 25 recreation reserves which have uses where charges may apply.

District councillor John Morten said the tennis club is highlighting how difficult it is for small clubs with a limited membership to cover the operational costs.

“They are finding it very challenging for a small club, there are numerous clubs that could argue the same,” he said.

Cr Morten said whatever is decided, it needs to be consistent for all sport users of recreation reserves.

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