Vancouver community centres fear funding overhaul
Anger and frustration are building at some Vancouver community centres as the Vancouver Park Board mulls taking over revenue collection from the centres' current volunteer boards.
Under the proposed plan, the Park Board would be pool the funds collected from community centres and then redistribute the monies to the centres.
Seniors attending a lunch at the Kerrisdale Community Centre on Tuesday were worried the move would drive up the centre's fees and cause a cutback in programs.
"Seems like a bit of takeover. It should be run by the community," one senior told CBC News.
Another said: "Such a nice system we’ve got. Let's keep it the way it is."
The centre was organizing an emergency meeting Tuesday night so people could voice their concerns.
"It could double the cost of our fitness centre drop-in fee. And the subsidy that the association pays to pay part of the cost of the seniors lunch would disappear because we wouldn't have the revenue to pay it," said Robert Lockhardt, the association’s vice-president.
Poorer centres would be aided
The Killarney Community Centre Association also had a meeting planned for Tuesday night to plan their response to the new funding scheme.
The Park Board has put notices at centres saying it's business as usual. However, changes to their operating agreements are underway.
"Financially, some associations are in different positions than others," said Vancouver Park Board Commissioner Niki Sharma.
"We think that every association should have the same ability to invest in their centres. And we're not sure what model will allow us to get to that goal but that's definitely what we want to see."
The funding proposal would also introduce a single universal membership that would grant users access to all the city's community centres.
With files from the CBC's Meera Bains