Tab for community centre rises

Despite some objections, Parksville councillors pass motion unanimously

  • Sep. 20, 2011 10:00 a.m.

The City of Parksville’s contribution to its Community & Conference Centre increased in three separate components at the latest council meeting.

The city facility, completed in 2003, is operated by an independent society on room rental fees and an annual subsidy from the city which has averaged less than $200,000 a year.

The centre recently reported to council that they are facing a $20,500 deficit for the current year, which came about because their 2011 budgeting was overly optimistic, explained city chief administrative officer Fred Manson.

Council agreed to pay the deficit as well as $20,000 a year for three years into an operating reserve and another $20,000 a year addition to their regular subsidy, to go into a capital reserve fund.

The report from staff said neighbouring communities subsidize their community centres in the $350,000 to $400,000 a year range.

“Our annual costs of less than $200,000 are very favourable and indicate the city is continuing to receive very good value for our dollar,” the report states.

“I have a real difficulty with this,” said councillor Al Greir. “For me, it’s a bailout. If this was a business it would fold.”

However, Coun. Marc Lefebvre argued it is a valuable part of the city’s infrastructure and in the end council voted unanimously for the increase.