CVRD polling member municipalities and electoral areas on Sportsplex
The president of the Chesterfield Sports Society is hopeful a proposal put forward by the Cowichan Valley Regional District will alleviate the Cowichan Sportsplex's funding crisis.
"I would say at this moment, we're guardedly-optimistic,'' said Don McClintock.
The CVRD will be conducting a poll of member municipalities and electoral areas to determine an annual financial contribution service of $146,000 in 2013 to fund the Sportsplex.
The society has been seeking a long-term solution for its funding.
"It will resolve the budget problems that have gradually arisen here,'' said McClintock.
But the CVRD is only one part of the puzzle,' he added. "We've also got the Municipality of North Cowichan, our other major funder.''
The society will be discussing matters with the City of Duncan next Tuesday. School District 79 has already stepped up to the plate, according to McClintock, by increasing its funding allocation by $5,000.
The Sportsplex has been receiving a grant-in-aid each year from the CVRD. The annual contribution service would eliminate the need for the society to make continual grant requests and give it more certainty.
"By doing it every year, it's subject to a lot of discussion each year at budget time,'' said Joe Barry, the CVRD's manager of legislative services.
"It's moving it away from a regional grant in-aid to a budget line item.''
The cost per $100,000 assessment to fund the Sportsplex is currently 64 cents. The proposal would increase the amount to 94 cents.
That's assuming all 13 jurisdictions participate in the proposed service.
"If four say not today, that cost will increase,'' said Barry.
"I can't tell the four municipal councils exactly how much it's going to cost until I know who's in. That's why we have to do a poll.
"Based on what I get back, we will draft a bylaw.''
Time is already of the essence for the pieces to fall into place for 2013.
"We do need to go to the public,'' said Barry. "There is a public approval process for this that is required.''
The CVRD would be looking at adopting a bylaw in January or February of 2013 toward a March deadline.
"I don't have a lot of room if the process is delayed,'' said Barry.
"If everybody is to say yes, this is doable (for 2013). That's if the public says yes as well.''
Directors presented other methods of allocating the cost at Wednesday night's meeting, but the timeline for making those proposals work was uncertain.
"If there are delays in the process, we could not make 2013,'' said Barry.
The society will have to look at other means of making up for its currently funding shortfall until the end of the year. MClintock suggested raising more money from corporate sponsors than budgeted or biting the bullet and meeting the deficit itself for another year are the alternatives.
Sometimes in light of all the publicity, McClintock observed assistance may come from other sources.
"People quite unexpectedly step up to the plate and say, 'yes, I'd like to help out,''' he said.