A number of residents turned out for the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District’s (FVMRD) board meeting on May 26. On the agenda was the Foundry Lease Discussion and rumors the Rec District was considering dropping the asset were rampant. Prior to the board entering an Executive Session, they heard from concerned residents.
“I encourage you to weather the storm,” said Francie deVos. “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. The Foundry is an awesome asset to the Rec Center.”
“We were given some numbers, and I can appreciate the dilemma you are in,” said Joe Rooyakkers. “We have been through this before. We know to prepare and learn from it. If I understand, the district had $125K in profits in the first year. I hope it was set aside.” He added, “If I was a young family, I would hope you would give it consideration. Ask Mark (Unicume) to work with us. He probably doesn’t want it back, either.”
“I back up Francie and Joe,” said Pete Strohecker. “It seems like a knee jerk reaction to dump this asset that we have. Yes, I am a bowler. I think Joe is right on. It’s not gonna come right back, but it is going to come back. Hang on, don’t get crazy, let’s see what happens.”
Board President Roger Hedlund said, “We appreciate that. We took this on 14 months ago knowing it was a huge community asset. We do realize it would be irresponsible not to look at everything. Nothing has been decided. We are just looking at all options.”
“When are you going to make a decision?” asked Strohecker.
“This is the first time we’ve gotten together along with legal counsel. The decision will be made in public,” said Hedlund. He clarified that, if a decision was made to terminate, the district would have six months and could make another decision within that time frame. “We are obligated to make rent regardless of revenues for the next six months.”
Trude Kleess asked, “Isn’t there an option to negotiate with the landlord? That would let us keep our options open. If we do lose it, we are losing a lot of what tourists can do.”
“That is certainly under discussion,” said Hedlund. “We realize what a huge community asset this is.”
Brenda Freeman added, “As realtor and restaurant owner, this would be devastating to second home owners. You have got to suck it up. If you want to sell it, have Mark (Unicume) put it on the market.
Another resident offered, “We would raise money to keep this. If the Foundry is let go, this community is going to die with it.”
The Foundry Bowl and Cinema operates as an Enterprise Fund and is self-supporting. It is not funded by taxpayer dollars. The impacts of COVID-19 resulted in closure of the facility in March, but the bills continue to roll in, leaving the board to determine the fiscally responsible way to move forward.
The board entered into an Executive Session with the landlord which lasted about thirty minutes.
When the meeting resumed, Hedlund stated, “After consulting with our legal team, we have an addendum. Our landlord has agreed to abate a total of $80,000 until December, with no late charge. We appreciate the good will. That being said, we are going to follow legal counsel and continue our lease through December 8. That will allow us a little bit more time to see where this all goes and allow for budget. October 15 is the first budget hearing to see where we are.”
Board Member Al White clarified, “She only approved the legal language. It wasn’t her recommendation that we adopt.”
Board Vice President Dave McKnight motioned to approve the continuation of the lease through December 8th, Treasurer Rainie Murdoch seconded the motion. The motion passed in a 3:2 vote, with Board Secretary Kelley Glancey and Member at Large White dissenting.
Pole Creek Golf Club opened 9 holes on the Ridge course May 22, and even with snow on the opening weekend, the golf course seems to be off to a good start. A second nine, the Ranch course, opened Wednesday, June 3.
With the approval of the county’s variance request last week, more FVMRD facilities are beginning to open.
Fraser Valley Sports Complex
Summer Sports programming is now available. Concession building & playground remains closed to the public. Field users are limited to groups of 10 or less in any designated space. Individuals must remain 6ft or more apart. No spectators are allowed and no congregating in common areas can be accommodated. Users should avoid sharing equipment, and touching any permanent field fixtures, such as goals, fences etc. Visit fraservalleyrec.org to register.
Fraser Tennis Courts
Tennis courts are open! Players should stay at least six feet apart. Doubles play is discouraged. Use your racquet/foot to pick up balls and hit them to your opponent. Avoid using your hands to pick up the balls. Stay on your side of court. Adult & Youth tennis programs start the week of June 8th. We are unable to accommodate Pickleball at this time.
Summer Day Camps
Registration is open. Groups will be limited to ten campers and two staff and we will be following all Social Distancing Childcare Licensing Rules and Regulations. Summer Specialty Camps are currently taking place as scheduled, making sure every child has the most positive experience possible while following Social Distancing Guidelines.
Foundry Cinema & Bowl
Now open for bowling! The cinema remains closed at this time. Please call (970) 363-7161 to make bowling reservations so they can follow the proper social distancing guidelines of 4 people on every other lane.
Grand Park Community Recreation Center
Opened Monday, June 1st to District and County Residents. They will be limiting the number of patrons in the building and require registration for workout times for fitness and lap lanes before entering the facility. Patrons will be required to sanitize equipment after individual use. Visit fraservalleyrec.org/about/covid-19-updates/ to learn how to register on-line for fitness and lap lane time slots. The GPCRC hours are currently Monday – Friday 6 am to 7:30 pm, Saturday 9 am to 4 pm and closed on Sundays.
For the most current information, visit fraservalleyrec.org.