Community hall revenue in the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) has plummeted during the past three years, parks services staff reported last week.
From Sept. 1, 2010 to Aug. 31, 2011, total booking revenue from the SCRD’s five community halls came to more than $75,000. Two years later, that figure was down to $28,000 — a drop of more than 60 per cent.
Among the hardest hit was Chaster House, where revenues dropped from more than $22,000 to less than $6,000 during that period. Eric Cardinal Hall’s revenues dropped from $20,000 to $10,000, Coopers Green from $15,000 to $6,000, Frank West Hall from $11,000 to $5,000 and Granthams Hall from $7,000 to $1,200.
Staff blamed the drop on space opening up in recreational facilities and other venues in the community.
Speaking at the Sept. 5 community services committee, Roberts Creek director Donna Shugar called for an update on hall revenue versus expenses, “because this is an enormous drop,” she said. “It looks like a $50,000 subsidy for all these halls, but costs have been going up so it’s probably more than that.”
Directors asked staff to provide an analysis — including a list of uses that generate revenue — at a future meeting.
Committee chair Lee Turnbull noted that revenues were down by half for Eric Cardinal Hall, “and it’s impossible to get in,” she said. “That doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Shoreline restoration OK’d
SCRD directors have approved a work plan for restoration of the shoreline and concrete retaining wall in front of Chaster House.
The work will include repairing damage in the wall, backfilling areas of erosion along the beach side of the wall and planting it with beach grass, constructing engineered barriers fronting the main beach entrance and the southeast corner using anchored logs and boulders, and completing a 3D scan of the shoreline for future monitoring.
Elphinstone director Lorne Lewis said the state of the shoreline is a concern to people in his area.
“Last year we got off easy, but it isn’t going to happen again,” Lewis said. “There’s evidence of erosion all around there.”
Lewis said the Elphin-stone Electors Association had put aside funds that could be put toward the project, and parks staff was directed to work with the association. The SCRD’s budget for the work is $20,000.
Directors were pleased that the SCRD was undertaking the project without resorting to riprap armouring, with Gibsons alternate director Lee Ann Johnson praising it as an “educational opportunity.”
Trails society support
Directors agreed to a request from the Sunshine Coast Trails Society to appoint a staff member to work with the group’s advisory committee and consultant to complete a trails strategy for the region.
The society posted a request for proposals and was expecting to award the contract this month, chair Elise Rudland said in a letter to parks services manager Carleen McDowell.
At its Sept. 5 meeting, McDowell told the community services committee that improving the trail network ranked high among priorities in the parks and recreation master plan, and supporting the initiative was consistent with the plan.
The committee also endorsed a $500 grant-in-aid for the group to cover the cost of obtaining maps from the SCRD.