By Alex Rinfret-The Greater Massett Development Corp. may have millions of dollars in the bank, but most people don’t realize just how fast that money could run out, directors said at Wednesday’s annual general meeting (July 6) in Old Massett.
The corporation – which runs the rec centre as well as other former military properties – loses money every year. It had its strongest financial performance ever in 2004 – but still lost $287,000. The year before, it lost $500,000.
If the trend continues, manager Jo-Ann Brown warned, the corporation will run out of money in 10 to 15 years, and the communities could lose the rec centre.
Everyone attending the meeting agreed that can’t be allowed to happen. Masset resident Fran Redick said the centre is “integral” to the community, while Arnie Bellis said buying an annual membership is the healthiest $250 he spends.
“I couldn’t imagine living in a town without a rec centre now,” he said. “It must be awful to live in Charlotte,” he added, to laughter.
While most community rec centres are subsidized by tax dollars, the Masset facility is run by money which the federal government handed over in the mid-1990s along with the former military buildings as part of the downsizing of CFS Masset. At the end of 2004, GMDC held $5.9-million in assets (most invested in various funds), and $7.6-million worth of property.
Directors discussed several possible solutions to the ongoing deficit, including applying for funding from Indian and Northern Affairs, holding a fundraising telethon, and organizing a “Friends of the Rec Centre” group.
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