Our board would like to clarify a media buzz that has been happening the past couple of days in regard to the future of the club and its current and future location. A lot of things have been floating around the radio, newspaper and social media so we wanted to give an update to everyone straight from us.
First, just to clarify, the Okotoks BMX Club WILL be staying in our current location for the 2014 season and will not be moving anywhere before 2015. This bit of information seems to have been missed in all the media reports on this topic so we want to assure riders that things will run as always for this season.
Here are the facts on the history, present and the future of our situation.
The Okotoks BMX Club’s location has been temporary right from year 1999 when the Town of Okotoks allowed the club to start up in Riverside Park and operate its seasons there. Since about 2005 the board continuously meets with the Town to try and find a long term solution to a piece of land that it could call a permanent home to build a fantastic facility for the riders and sport in the community. Since those meetings started, we have always been told our current location is temporary and that the town will try their best to help us out in finding land for a new facility. To date, the Town of Okotoks has been unable to do that for the club. We have operated in our current location on a year to year basis with not knowing what the following years will be for us since 2009.
With other clubs around our province advancing in track design to build ridership and skills, Okotoks BMX has fallen behind due to the lack of commitment long term from our community in regard to land. To build those facilities is very expensive if you are only temporary. For the past 5 years, the club has only spent the least amount of money required, saving as much as we can in GIC’s etc to build a new facility and struggling to keep the riders interest and our membership numbers up. For those of you who travel to other tracks, you know what we mean by this. The other tracks facilities are amazing compared to what we have here. Okotoks BMX Club can build that same amazing facility for our riders once we are given the chance.
Okotoks BMX Club was invited to a Town council meeting with High River to do our presentation for land. Our proposal included asking for a small 5 acre parcel east of the Cargill plant in between High River and Okotoks, which is owned by the Town of High River. Because we are the only club between Calgary and Lethbridge, it is important to us that we are able to draw members from surrounding communities such as Okotoks, Calgary, High River, Black Diamond, Blackie, Vulcan areas. The more members we have, the bigger our race nights are which will benefit all riders in our club. In the town council meeting, the Mayor of High River expressed a huge interest in our sport and the proposal and indicated that he had a lot of ideas where we could put the new facility, not just the Cargill area we were looking at. That is where the meeting was basically left. The club is now waiting to see what the Town of High River has to offer and can then decide what they will do.
Okotoks BMX Club has been a part of the Okotoks community for 15 years and it is not our first choice to leave here, we would much rather stay in our community. The Town of Okotoks has supported the club in that time with the donation of land in 1999 to build the track and have allowed us to operate there since. However, over the years, the land that the track sits on has slowly started to become smaller due to many projects in the area as well as in the growth of our sport/club needing a larger facility. First the 32nd street bridge and now the expansion of the Towns Operations Center which should begin this year sometime. To date, we know that the Town of Okotoks has allowed us to stay in our current location for 2014 which we will take advantage of. IF a new facility is built in Okotoks or outside of Okotoks, it will not happen until at least year 2015. It is still our hopes that the Town of Okotoks will find us a permanent location right here in town or as close to it as possible, but in the meantime, so that we could prepare the future for our riders and club, we have sought out other locations as possibilities so that the club will have options in the future if need be or if the Town is unable to find us something suitable.
There are presentations prepared for other areas of land and are awaiting to meet with the appropriate people to seek out those possibilities for the future. The club will choose what is best for its future with the options that it has been given when the time comes that we are no longer able to stay in our current location.
There will be other upcoming meetings in regard to options for other land, so you may hear more in the media just like this time. So no, nothing is a signed deal anywhere right now as to where the Okotoks BMX Club will have a future and the club will continuously work to get the best possible scenario for its future and the future of our riders. With that being said, we are also putting it out there to our membership that we are looking for a 5 acre parcel of land as a donation to the club. The club has the funds to build the facility that is needed, but land has always been the hold up. If any of our members have options or ideas for the Okotoks BMX Club we would be more than willing to sit and listen to them.
If you have not read the recent article that is buzzing around you can click on THIS LINK and it will give you all the info on the latest media announcement.
You can contact us with any questions via our Facebook page or via our email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks The Okotoks BMX Club Board of Directors 2014