Arno Bay Sporting Association cuts utility costs to help fund renovation

The Arno Bay Community Sporting Association (ABCSA) has received a grant to improve their utility costs, but is still looking for funds to upgrade the bar and kitchen at the club.

The Office of Recreation and Sport has awarded the group $17,500 to install solar panels and expand existing water harvesting infrastructure to reduce climbing bills.

Viterra has committed $10,000, with the District Council of Cleve and ABCSA providing $5000 each.

The roof of the club needs replacing before solar panels can be installed, which is financed by a $50,000 council loan.

They were unable to obtain grant funding to renovate the roof back in 2017.

While the association struggles to get the grant funding they need, secretary Judith Rehn said the group had been “very heavily fundraising and looking for ways to cut costs.”

The ABCSA plans to use the long-term savings on electricity and water bills from the utilities project to pay off the loan and attract additional funding for the necessary renovation of the bar and kitchen facilities.

Bills have increased over the past year, with a $1600 increase in power costs and $6000 extra for water over the 2017/2018 financial year.

While water costs are reliant on rainfall levels, ABCSA is expecting a 60-70% reduction in the power bill after the solar panels are installed.

The more rainwater ABCSA can harvest and store using the extension of their infrastructure, the less they will pay in water bills to keep their oval usable.

We've been very heavily fundraising and looking for ways to cut costs

Judith Rehn

Meanwhile the bar and kitchen remain a major issue, and the ABCSA has had multiple unsuccessful attempts to win funding.

Their most recent grant application to the Office of Recreation and Sport for their planned kitchen renovation was unsuccessful.

Mrs. Rehn said a successful grant application would need to prove that the project would increase participation in sport.

“The feedback we got is that we’re close,” she said.

As the kitchen counters deteriorate, there is a chance the club will soon be unable to host winter sport, if they lose their catering facilities.

While proving increased participation is difficult, if renovations cannot be done, decreased participation seems certain.

Mrs. Rehn said the club did not want a “band-aid solution” which would not solve all the current issues with the clubrooms.

The current bar and kitchen setup is dysfunctional with a lack of space in the bar  and the association have plans to upgrade the entire area.

Over recent times ABCSA has significantly increased their fundraising efforts, through events such as a Mothers’ Day high tea and an upcoming Halloween movie night.

They have also recently applied for a $125,000 grant with Sport Australia in another attempt to get the renovation off the ground.

They will continue their fundraising efforts and grant applications until they get upgrade the club needs.