Warrnambool Golf Club is seeking permission from its members to dip into a special fund to help cover a $2.5 million shortfall in its new clubhouse.
The project, which was expected to be $4.8 million, was hit by a 30 per cent jump in construction cost over 18 months sending the final price tag closer to $7.5 million.
To cover the funding shortfall, members are being asked to vote later this month to allow the club to dip into money it had in reserve from the sale of neighbouring Mervue estate land, which amounts to about $970,000.
Club manager Ashlee Scott said she didn't believe the club would have any trouble getting support from 75 per cent of members to vote it through.
"It was put away for a rainy day really, it was put away for the future viability of the club," she said.
"We see the clubhouse as the viability of the club. It needed to happen. It was an important project for us.
"What we're saying is it is necessary for the viability of the club otherwise we are putting the club in further debt."
The club has already chipped in $2.5 million from cash reserves for the build and, if it can use the $970,000, that would bring its contribution to about $3.5 million. The federal government has also given $2 million to the project.
The club would have to borrow $1.5 million to cover the cost of the project but if the vote failed it would have to borrow about $2.5 million.
However, the club is about to embark on a $2 million fundraising campaign to help reduce the amount it needs to borrow.
It will seek funds from the state government, philanthropic trusts and private donations before looking to public fundraising events.
"The more we fundraise, the less debt we'll have," Ms Scott said.
She said the committee didn't feel it could embark on a fundraising campaign when it had about $1 million sitting in a special fund which had been generating capital in a share portfolio.
Ms Scott said proceeds from the sale of the Mervue Estate land were put into a fund under a deed of arrangement set up so future committees couldn't irresponsibly and inappropriately dip into it.
Under the rules, the club had to go back to the members to seek approval.
"The income generated from those portfolios can be spent proportionally on different things," she said.
"If the club wanted or needed that full amount of capital then it would have to go and seek permission from the members and that's what we are doing.
"We were hoping we wouldn't need to use that capital, but we do now need to use that capital.
"If it doesn't get voted through then we just need to finance it. We'll just take out a loan."
The building contract for the project is $6.5 million but with contingencies, extras and furnishings the whole redevelopment would cost no more than $7.5 million, she said.
The members meeting will be held at the RSL on February 28 at 6pm.
Once the new clubhouse was operational, a percentage of the profits would go into another fund as part of a long-term financial plan for when the clubhouse needed another major renovation in 30 or 40 years.
She said there was a vibe around the club about the project.
"It's going to be fantastic. It's really exciting to see it all coming together," she said.
"When the new clubhouse is open we'll be out trying to get those larger events that normally go to the Melbourne clubs. We're hoping to get more action out here in the regional areas."
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