Sandspit questions recreation costs

  • Mar. 18, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Is Sandspit getting its money’s worth out of QCI Recreation? That question was raised by the Moresby Island Management Committee last Thursday. At the March 10 meeting, committee member Emmy O’Gorman said Sandspit pays “a hefty chunk of coin” into the QCI Recreation Commission, but she believes recreation opportunities in the community are not being offered by the funded group. “There are things happening in town, not through QCI Rec and they should be,” she said. She said a kids’ night at the school gym is run by the local recreation committee and the parent advisory committee. Both these groups raise money for this evening activity. Ms O’Gorman said QCI Rec does bring a movie to town once a month, but they charge $5 a head for it, making it an expensive night out for a family of four. She asked for a report that shows whether Sandspit is getting its money’s worth. She noted that communities on Graham Island have access to recreational opportunities, like tree climbing and wrestling, both in Masset (these are after-school programs advertised on the QCI Rec website). “Are we paying for them to have these things and we’re not getting our fair share?” she said. Other members of MIMC noted that QCI Recreation pays for insurance for some activities in the community and offers weight room training. They also mentioned the great kids’ camp in the summer. The Observer contacted QCI Recreation coordinator Julia Brobbel, who said that the organization “bends over backwards to make things work in Sandspit.” She said she has been to the community to discuss the perception that QCI Rec doesn’t do enough and asked people to call her or talk with their commissioner Laurie Chisholm directly if they have any concerns. She noted that QCI Rec offers a travel subsidy to Sandspit residents for any programs not offered in their area (something Ms O’Gorman raised as a concerned with reference to the upcoming Organic Gardening course). Ms Brobbel said this is clearly advertised on the QCI Rec website and on Sandspit posters. As for the movies, she said if Sandspit tried to bring them in on their own the costs would be three times what they face now. As well the Junior Rangers, who do concession, successfully use the events as a fundraiser for trips for their participants. In fact, the smaller communities get more of a benefit from the movies, she said, due to the numbers who attend. She said QCI Rec is also paying for a fitness instructor to become certified in Sandspit and they have not done that for any other community, “because we know Sandspit needs a bit more.” Sandspit residents are projected to pay $17,255 to QCI Recreation’s 2011 budget through Regional District taxation (in 2010 they paid almost $16,000). That is 17 percent of the proposed $100,000 budget (according to the RD draft budget found on their website). Other communities are projected to pay the following in 2011: Masset $19,445, Port Clements $8,441, Queen Charlotte $23,341, and Area D $31,634.

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