The Lloydminster Off Road Riders Club has been feeling the pressures from the downturn in the economy. Today at the Governance and Priorities Committee Meeting, the President of the club, Heather McKee spoke to council about some of the issues they are facing with a special focus on their lease.
“We currently pay $1, 000 rent to the City each year and we were hoping to get a reduction in our lease costs. Just with the economic downturn and corporate sponsorships have been on the down climb for at least the last couple years.”
McKee did talk to other clubs before the GPC meeting, including one in Cold Lake. They currently have a 25 year lease with their city and pay $1 per year according to McKee.
For the City, an increased lease length is currently not an option. Upgrades are needed at the Wastewater Treatment Plant and there is uncertainty that comes with the land around it and those who use it, including the club. Mayor Gerald Aalbers says the city will be looking into this matter.
“Council is going to look at A) what do we anticipate the new Waste Water Treatment Plant to look like. That’s the biggest issue out there. We only have so much land and I understood very clearly from the riders club that looking for a long term commitment would be in their best interest,” says Mayor Aalbers.
He adds, “there’s some other work that needs to be done in the drainage ditch and that’s part of some of the work that will be ongoing this fall with the City for storm water. There’s several factors that play into this and need to be taken into account and that’s what City Administration will bring forward.”
McKee says if they need to stay on a one year lease for the future, they will be happy with that because it still allows for riders to ride. However, if the upgrades to the Waste Water Treatment Plant do cause the club to relocate McKee says it will cause the club to shut down.
“If they decided that we couldn’t have our track or that with the expansion of the Waste Water Treatment Plant it took our track, as a club we don’t have the funds to just buy a new place of land or take all the dirt and jumps that are there and build it somewhere else. ”
Memberships are also down, although the club is trying to combat that with a cost reduction and upgrades to the track.
“We still have quite a few people riding at the track but no where near the people we had two years ago and I can say that for certain.”
One of the other issues facing the club is having to pay for the clean up from flooding.
“Just with some of the heavy rainfalls we’ve had this year, when we do get those heavy rainfalls the cities drainage ditch kind of overflows and then it overflows on to pieces of our track. So in order for the riders to ride it and to get to dry up, we have incurred some expense this year, I would think more that others.”
McKee adds, “I just hope that we can work together with the City to figure out a long term lease for us, to keep the local motocross association healthy and a place for our kids to ride.”