Trey Luglan, left, and Eric Jacobson, center, vice president of field operations with Division II Construction Co., attend the groundbreaking for the new Pickleball Center with GVR CEO Kent Blumenthal on July 16

A member of the GVR Board of Directors said a $50,000 grant for restrooms at the Pickleball Center should have come through the organization instead of being paid directly to the builder. 

The grant from Freeport-McMoRan was acquired through the GVR Foundation. However, the funds were paid directly to Division II Construction, the contractor on the center, GVR Board President Charlie Sieck told the Green Valley News. He said the wording of the contract dictates they go through Green Valley Recreation.

  Director Carol Crothers told the board Wednesday that the $50,000 should be paid to GVR to cover the costs of the restrooms and put into the Initiatives Fund.

“That money is GVR’s money, not the (GVR) Pickleball Club’s money and not the administration’s to spend as you wish,” Crothers said at the meeting.

Crothers proposed adding a statement to the minutes stating the Freeport money is not to be spent by CEO Kent Blumenthal without prior board approval.

Blumenthal said the grant was never given to GVR and was to be used for building the restrooms at the Pickleball Center. Blumenthal said the money has not touched GVR’s accounting system, it was paid directly through the GVR Foundation.

Director Denise Nichols said Crothers' assertion was an attempt to deduct the $50,000 from the original $1.25 million approved by the board for construction of the Pickleball Center. She said the $50,000 was for restrooms in addition to the $1.25 million in GVR funding for the complex.

“It’s no different than saying let’s subtract all the pickleball (fundraiser) money that they gave us too because somebody else raised that money,” Nichols said. “You go for an outside grant, it goes for a specific purpose and that does not undercut the amount of money that GVR has put toward this project.”

Sieck suggested not moving forward with Crothers’ motion until further research is done on the legal agreement. The board voted to table the item until the next board meeting. No date, time or place for November’s meeting has been posted at this time.

On Thursday, Sieck told the Green Valley News he reviewed the contract for the Freeport grant and that the wording does state the funds are to be paid to GVR.

“We spent a lot of time and a lot of money working through all sorts of details to get the paperwork in place that we thought would cover this,” he said, “to transfer the money back to GVR once we completed the restrooms.”

Jorge Encinas | 520-547-9732

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