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Westville Curling Club concerned about flooding, potential for mould


PICTOU - Whenever it heavy rains are forecast for the county,  Duncan MacDonald knows where he will be the next day. 

The Westville Curling Club is asking for municipal support to repair the damage on the outside of the club. 

One of his first stops will be to the Westville Curling Club to check for flooding in its basement that houses the club’s two change rooms, storage space and equipment to run the building.

“Last Saturday night, we had a major bonspiel here and on Sunday morning we were downstairs with the vacuum cleaning up water,” he said.  “It not real deep, but it is on the floor and we get on top of it pretty quick.”

MacDonald, who is club president, recently wrote the Town of Westville requesting a $11,000 donation that will put towards the $32,775 project to repair the drainage on the outside of the club.

He said the club is also sending a funding request to the Municipality of Pictou County since there are a good number of club members from the county. It will also be seeking a recreational grant from the province and raise a third of the costs itself through fundraising.

Flooding has been a problem for the curling club for the past few years, MacDonald said, and although mould is not visible, it usually goes hand in hand with water damage.  They are not 100 per cent sure of the cause of the flooding, but they think the aging drainage system that runs along the outside of the building may need to be replaced because of deterioration or damage from tree roots.

In his letter to council, he said, members have also expressed concern about the overall health of the building if there is mould present.

MacDonald said the club has 70 active members and an additional 35 seniors who use it during the daytime hours.  It also donates ice time and instructors to the Special Olympics team and high school.

The Westville Curling Rink has been a landmark in the town since 1901 and has had various renovations and additions over the years.  The upstairs was renovated in 1984 and the basement was added on in the 1960s.   It operates from November to March and all of its operational money is raised through fundraisers and membership fees.

If the funding is made available by all parties, MacDonald said the club hopes to start the work this spring and summer and have it complete for the next curling season.

He said club members are no strangers to fundraising in an effort to keep up with the aging building’s maintenance needs. Last year, they raised $17,000 for a new roof and ice plant.

“Every year we have to do something,” he said.

Council referred the club’s letter to its next finance committee meeting for discussion. 

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