The last act of the Saskatchewan Winter Games Committee came on Monday, with announcement of their recommendations on what to do with the Games legacy funds.
Co-chairs David Schell and Rob Rongve presented the recommendations to council Monday night, flanked by several Games Committee volunteers wearing their green shirts. Among those in the audience was the Games manager Nicole Clow, who recently was announced as the Games manager in Lloydminster in 2020.
The Winter Games in North Battleford were a financial success, with a considerable balance available for the committee to recommend for an endowment.
The recommendation from the committee was to place the endowment funds into a 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games Fund set up at the Battlefords and District Community Foundation.
From that, four per cent of the endowed fund will be granted each year to eligible community sport and recreation clubs, organizations and individuals in need of funding.
The other recommendation was to allocate funds to kick-start the campaign for a new Civic Centre, “once the City is ready to proceed with that project,” according to correspondence from the committee’s co-chairs Schell and Rongve to council.
None of these recommendations come as a surprise. The indication last week at the City’s planning committee meeting was that this recommendation was what was decided at their wrap-up meeting earlier in September.
Updated financial numbers were presented to council Monday. According to Rongve’s presentation the Games reported a net profit of $247,694 to March 31, 2018.
He also reported that businesses came through with $158,000 in excess revenue of what was budgeted for. Expenses also came in less in almost every category they had budgeted for as well.
Schell said that as of Monday they had a balance in their account of a little over $212,310, with the balance of funds available for the legacy endowment being $221,553.
Council greeted the recommendations with great enthusiasm.
Councillor Kelli Hawtin called the Winter Games a “success in a big way.”
Mayor Ryan Bater said the Games came “at a really important time for the city and gave us a real boost ... it came at the right time and gave the right kind of energy to a city that needed it.”
In speaking to reporters afterwards, Bater said the Games “really elevated not just the internal community pride, but elevated the profile and reputation of the city provincially as an event hosting superpower. And that’s important to us.”
As for the recommendations for the legacy fund, Bater said the next steps would be to receive a recommendation from administration in the next month or two.
With respect to the Civic Centre, Bater said administration will be preparing a plan on the timing of a new facility and on fundraising. Also still to be determined is where a new Civic Centre would be located.
An engineering firm was engaged to do a preliminary design, which is expected to conclude soon and come back to council.
“When that comes to council we will have a fairly good idea of the potential cost,” said Bater.