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Sketchy Cowichan Sportsplex future to be tied to grant process

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Don McClintock isn't pushing the panic button just yet.

But the president of the Chesterfield Sports Society is clearly becoming frustrated about the Cowichan Valley Regional District's handling of the funding issue for the Cowichan Sportsplex.

McClintock's hope was to have an annual financial contribution in place for 2013. But, after last Wednesday's board meeting, it seems the grant-in-aid process that's been going on year after year will have to continue one more time, at least.

"It's quite disappointing to be required to go back to the way things were,'' said McClintock.

"It's always been uncertain and it's always been inadequate to our requests.''

The grant-in-aid amount requested is $146,000 for 2013.

"I've suggested to the board we might take a wait-and-see attitude till the end of February,'' said McClintock.

The Chesterfield Sports Society board meets again on Oct. 2.

McClintock cited a statement by Saltair director Mel Dorey that seems to be an issue for others on the CVRD board, suggesting a non-profit society shouldn't be paying comparable wages to workers at the Sportsplex.

"They are to be seen in his view as a training ground,'' explained McClintock. "I'm afraid that's a very naive view of how you run a world-class facility right here in Duncan.

"We experience a fairly high-degree of attrition every year. People come and get trained and they get a better offer somewhere else.''

Raising wages by $2 per hour to $15 wasn't exactly out of line in helping Sportsplex workers make ends meet in this economy, suggested McClintock.

"Part of our deficit in the coming year is we did raise our staff's wages by $2 an hour.

"We just didn't feel we can continue to offer such low wages to our staff.''

While the CVRD continues to waffle, "we will operate certainly until the end of March,'' said McClintock.

"Regardless of what happens, what we do beyond then depends what comes down the pipe.''

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