Seeking tax dollars approval for Sportsplex

Seeking tax dollars approval for Sportsplex in Duncan.

Do you want your property taxes to pay to operate the Cowichan Sportsplex I ask this very simple question of the residents and taxpayers of the Cowichan Lake area for a couple of reasons. At the CVRD Board meeting on Aug. 1, the board was considering creating a formal function to provide tax dollars to the society that operates the Sportsplex in a stable and annual format with the ability to increase funding to cover inflation.

In 2012, the Sportsplex requested a regional grant-in-aid for $120,000 and the majority of the board agreed to funding of $100,000. A few short months after we passed the annual budget, the Sportsplex society is back at the board stating they will have a $46,000 deficit this year and could be forced to turn it back over to the Municipality of North Cowichan, the owners, on April 1, 2013, if they don’t receive a cash infusion.

They also explained that they will have to replace the artificial turf within the next decade and the price will be around $800,000.

In my opinion, the Sportsplex Society will need about $200,000 of taxpayers’ dollars every year to ensure they can continue to operate and save enough in their capital reserve to pay for the replacement of the artificial turf.

The way the CVRD currently provides the $100,000 to the Sportsplex Society is through a regional grant-in-aid, and Electoral Area F (4 per cent), Electoral Area I (4 per cent) and the Town of Lake Cowichan (3 per cent) combine to contribute 11 per cent or approximately $11,000 per year. Just to cover the yearly shortfall of $46,000, areas F, I, and the town’s annual contribution would go up to approximately $16,000.

If we somehow agreed to fund the $200,000 amount I’ve calculated and believe they need, our contribution would climb to around $22,000 per year. It is true they may not need the full $800,000 for the capital replacement of the artificial turf if they are able to attract some grant funding.

Some CVRD directors feel (and not me) that Gas Tax grants may be appropriate for the turf replacement project. I believe gas tax funding is meant for drinking water and sewer upgrades, and projects that improve our air and storm water quality.

Here is where I turn to you, friends, neighbours, residents and taxpayers. A basic foundation of local government principles is that the elected officials cannot commit the taxpayer to annual taxation without prior public approval.

That means that if local government wants to spend your tax dollars for a specific purpose, local government must ask you first via a referendum or alternative approval process called an alternative approval process  or AAP.

There must be a public consultation if the CVRD want to create a function to fund the Sportsplex with our tax dollars. I have promised the residents of Area F that I won’t use the AAP to consult with them, unless there is no other viable option. Full blown referendums are very expensive to hold.

The scary part in all of this is that the majority of the board can insist that the results be counted across the region, and not area by area. That could result in the Cowichan Lake area voting solidly to reject funding the Sportplex, and the other heavily populated areas of CVRD voting yes which would force the Cowichan Lake area taxpayers to pay anyway.

At least with an area by area vote, whether it’s an AAP or referendum, we could decide for ourselves if we want to pay our hard earned tax dollars into the Sportplex.

In my time as Area F Director, I have consistently voted against the annual Cowichan Sportsplex grant-in-aid, because taxpayer approval for that amount has never been sought, and obviously a majority of taxpayers haven’t agreed. Please let me know what you think.  or



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