Synergy sought

It could cost the Peninsula Recreation Commission $21,978 a year to operate the Memorial Park Society according to a task force report.

The task force was formed in May 2010 to take a closer look at the financial ramifications of a merger between the two Peninsula entities. That report came before recreation commission members last week.

“The biggest increase in cost in this potential partnership would be bringing the Mary Winspear Centre employees up to the CRD union rates,” said PRC administrator Ian Hennigar.

“We made sure to underestimate revenue, ask a lot of questions, and overestimate the expenses,” said Ron Kubek, Central Saanich councillor and a member of the task force.

The task force found revenues could be increased by advertising Mary Winspear activities in the Panorama brochure; through cross-promotional activities and increased revenue from new programs at Memorial Park Society facilities. Synergies can also be found in accounting fees for both MPS and PRC; savings of more than $2,000 a year would be found through consolidation of credit card merchant fees, among others.

The task force outlined three options for preliminary funding including the status quo wherein the PRC requisition formula would include $91,907 from North Saanich; $100,828 from Sidney and $123,483 from Central Saanich.

Option two would see existing North Saanich and Sidney grants phased out over five years, and option three would see the existing North Saanich and Sidney grants phased out over 10 years.

“I can see the benefits for the Memorial Park Society, but I’m still having great difficulty seeing any benefit to the PRC,” said North Saanich Mayor Alice Finall.

“This gives us the opportunity  to change recreation and culture on the Peninsula,” answered Kubek. “It will allow us to bring recreation and culture under one organization … The PRC will be a one stop place for everything cultural and fitness on the Peninsula.”

“From my experience with the Shoal Centre, we found the work load greatly relieved, it eliminated competition and we saw economies of scale,” said Sidney councillor Marilyn Loveless.

The recreation commission members received the recommendations from the task force and will take the information back to their individual councils for recommendations on funding options.



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