With the recent notification of our Dues Increase, we understand that there may be some confusion surrounding the NSWC billing and statement processing. We thank you for reaching out and bringing your concerns to our attention; we value our member’s opinions, and hope to provide further clarity.
Though the dues increase is effective May 1, 2019, it is relating to the dues for July 1, 2019. Member dues are billed two months in advance. Member statements are issued at the end of each month and these statements include the current month’s usage and monthly dues relating to the second month forward. When you joined, you would have paid dues in advance for the first and second months of membership. For example, the May statement (issued early in June) includes the dues for July, and all amounts are due and payable within 30 days. Pre authorized payment for the May statement will be processed in late June. The increase timing aligns with our club’s fiscal year.
We have had some concerns brought forward that the recent kitchen challenges and Ice Plant upgrades are the reasons for the dues increase, this is not the case. As mentioned in the communication, we have been confronted by significant rises in the general level of costs in our economy: property tax, utilities, insurance, minimum wage, payroll tax, and cost of goods.
Many other clubs are faced with the same rise in costs and need to adjust their revenue streams and dues to address the cost of running a business. It is typical for clubs to annually raise their dues between 1-10%. Until last year, the club did not have a dues increase for over 6 years, and that has had a significant impact to club operations and the overall member experience. For comparison, the Seymour Club increased their dues this year by 9%, while the Capilano Club increased theirs by 7.7%; both clubs are located on the North Shore.
In order to be fiscally responsible, it was recommended by Management and the members of the Finance Committee, and approved by the Board to increase dues in order to meet these essential operating needs, avoid cutting existing services and to be able to continue to implement new amenities and services.
The current Ice Plant upgrade is a required, pre-planned expense to enhance safety and accelerated by the recent Fernie incident. Over the past 5 years, we will have invested close to $1 million dollars into the Ice Plant that included upgrading/replacing the condensers, compressors, brine pumps, chillers, ammonia receiver, and associated fittings at no additional expense to members (i.e. special assessment).
We thank you for your continued patience and apologize for the interruptions in the kitchen. We understand and appreciate your dissatisfaction and any problems it has caused while we continue to experience delays from the District.
Our kitchen has remained open, still operating at 90% capacity. The main restriction is being able to provide deep fried offerings, but we still have a full bodied menu that includes healthier options. We plan to continue to evolve and update the menu based on member’s feedback and requests, but do expect to reopen the kitchen very soon.
As we manage the many challenges from our aging building, we are committed to using best practices to correct past issues. We are very much devoted to continuous improvement to our amenities, services and program offerings and providing greater value to membership. Being fiscally responsible supports these initiatives and helps us to reach the desired outcome of improving the member experience.
Joanna Hayes | General Manager