Proposed funding service for Cowichan Sportsplex could mean an end to continued grant-in-aid

CVRD looking for support from its municipalities and electoral areas for new funding formula n the ongoing funding of Sportsplex in DUncan.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District is looking for support from its municipalities and electoral areas for a new funding formula that would provide some stability in the ongoing funding of the Chesterfield Sport Society, the non-profit society that runs the Sportsplex in Duncan.

For the past several years, the Sportsplex has relied on continued grant-in-aid from these municipalities and electoral areas, meaning a residential tax rate for all jurisdictions of .64 cents on every $100,000 for property owners.

A new financial contribution service would eliminate the need for this continued grant-in-aid each year, and would provide the extra $46,000 being sought for 2013. In order to make this happen, the CVRD is looking to poll the municipalities and electoral areas to see which are willing to participate in the service, and as a result draft a bylaw which would define the partners and how the annual requisition would be allotted between them.

If all 13 agree to the service, it would mean that residents would be paying a capped (using 2012 assessment data) .94 cents per $100,000 assessment.

“Creating this service creates some permanence for the Sportsplex, at least more concrete than a regional grant-in-aid,” said Joe Barry, manager, legislative services for the CVRD.

This has been an ongoing issue for the CVRD and the Sportsplex, and the last time a poll was conducted was in 2010 with five municipalities/electoral areas voting for the service, four voting against (or choosing not to participate), Lake Cowichan and Areas F and I being among them, and four saying their participation was conditional.

At the last Lake Cowichan council meeting on Tuesday, August 7, Coun. Tim McGonigle, who sits on the CVRD board, clearly outlined the proposal for mayor and council, and reiterated that in the last vote, the town did not support the service.

“I don’t think it’s fair to the Sportsplex to continually come back year after year seeking a regional grant in aid . . . I think it’s fair for the people who want to finance this function be afforded that opportunity and those that do not wish to be afforded the opportunity to back away,” said McGonigle.

“I don’t think the answer lies in the elected officials at that table. I think it’s time to get this subject off the political realm and into the public’s hands,” he added.

Currently, per area usage of the Sportsplex sits at 1.9 per cent for Lake Cowichan, .6 per cent for Area I, and .8 per cent for Area F. McGonigle would like to see taxation based on these numbers as opposed to a flat rate spread across all electoral areas and municipalities.

Barry says that this formula is definitely an option, “but it has to be the political direction,” he said and added that the issue will go to the public after it is determined which municipalities and electoral areas are willing to participate and which funding formula will be used in order to draft a bylaw which will then be given three readings and be sent back to the municipalities and areas for review.

The type of public input depends on the public process requested by the board; either an alternative approval process which would need 10 per cent no vote to see the service defeated, and would see a minimal cost to the public, or a referendum, which could cost the public $65,000 region wide, according to Barry.

Catherine Brandon, the executive director of the Sportsplex says that as a not-for-profit, the facility does not just generate funding through municipalities and electoral areas, but also through fundraising, donations, and sponsorships, but these are becoming harder to come by.

“In the beginning it was easier to generate these funds to build the facility,” said Brandon. “But now we need operating money,” for things like washrooms, maintenance, and staff wages.

“The only way we can continue operating [in 2013 without a new funding service] is by tapping into reserves that are finite. We don’t have enough to continue,” she said.

She states that without continued funding the facility would have to be turned back over to the Municipality of North Cowichan which would erode the tradition of the Sportsplex and end up costing tax payers more.

Her plea to the public is for them to make their voices heard by their elected officials.

“There are a lot of events here and a lot of Lake Cowichan people participate [in these events]. Give your director a call and let them know you are in favour,” concluded Brandon.

 

Just Posted

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Mariah Segee (centre) was named 2021 Lady of the Lake last Saturday, with Megan Rowbottom (left) as first princess, and Macey Anderson (right) as second princess. (Submitted)
Lady of the Lake returns to Lake Cowichan

Mariah Segee takes the crown in first pageant since 2018

Darren Campbell's truck was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch (pictured) on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
UPDATE: Cowichan Bay Good Samaritan’s stolen truck recovered

‘Very much appreciated the help from so many people. I hope the very best for all of you’

Threads N Tails owner Lee-Ann Burke’s pet clothing has been featured on the cover of the June/July issue of Pet Connection Magazine. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan business featured on magazine cover

Lee-Ann Burke hopes the extra publicity will increase sales

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

Most Read