Tumut Turf Club’s undercover bookmakers area is coming together nicely despite consistent wet weather and should be ready for the Boxing Day races.
The $350,000 project, funded by a Crown Reserves grant and contributions from the Turf Club itself, began on November 1, will provide substantial undercover space that has been sadly lacking in the past.
Starting the project has been a challenge in itself.
“We had to remove some trees and there was a lot of old cracked concrete we had to remove, and that was a big job,” Turf Club president David Rosetta said.
Despite these difficulties, the project is now 50 per cent finished.
“We are truly on the way through it,” Mr Rosetta said.
“We expect it to be completed by the second week in December, weather permitting.”
He said the problem of consistent rainfall wasn’t the problem it could be because the contractors, local company Gary Gillespie Constructions, work in the rain.
“Gary Gillespie Constructions have been great supporters of the club for many years,” Mr Rosetta said.
“They were the best tenderers; they came up with a really good plan.”
The undercover area is something the club has needed for a long time, and it’s not just for bookies and punters.
“On wet days there is nowhere for people to go,” Mr Rosetta said.
“This will give the bookmakers somewhere dry to work and be a great function area for the Riverside Café.
The Turf Club first started talking about the project 10 years ago.
“It took eight years of lobbying to get the funding,” Mr Rosetta said.
“Unfortunately last year it was held up by Covid, but it should be finished by the Boxing Day races.”
He believes it will be an asset to the whole town.
“Going back five or six years ago, they used to hold markets here on a Friday, but there was always a weather issue; if it rained they got washed out,” he said.
“This opens up so many more possibilities. It’s coming along so we keep plodding away.”
Mr Rosetta also pointed out that in the interests of public safety, the club has a tree trimming program, which is poignant after a falling tree branch almost killed two people on Elm Drive on Wednesday.
“We want to keep everybody safe, so it is an ongoing process,” he said.
“These trees grow back strongly so we have to keep them well contained.”