The new table tennis table at the Humboldt Plaza has some taxpayers concerned. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Taxpayers question cost of new public ping pong table in Humboldt Plaza

The Grumpy Taxpayer$ believe the funds could have been used elsewhere

A new city installation at the corner of Humboldt and Douglas streets has some taxpayers asking questions.

A ping pong table was installed at the new Humboldt Plaza on Thursday, just in time for the official opening of the complete Wharf Street bike lanes.

The table is flanked by artistic benches, the two-way bike lanes and a sidewalk.

“Most taxpayers think any city financial contribution would be better spent fixing resurfacing roads or funding the police department,” said Stan Bartlett, chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria, a municipal spending watchdog. “For others, it’s symptomatic of a council that has lost its way and when money is no object this is what you get.”

ALSO READ: Final leg of Wharf Street bike lanes, Humboldt Street plaza set to open

The table comes from a French producer, Cornilleau, with identical-looking tables selling online for $5,000. This prompted the Grumpy Taxpayer$ to question what additional costs tied to taxes, shipping and installation could be.

“When you have unlimited tax dollars there’s no issue,” Bartlett said, “The city has done a tremendous job on that intersection; they blocked off one street and should be commended for that, but as far as a ping pong table, holy smokes.”

The Grumpy Taxpayer$ likened this investment to others including the musical staircase at the Bastion Square Parkade, or the phone-charging bench in Cook Street Village.

ALSO READ: Next phases of Victoria bike lanes coming up for discussion

“These kinds of things are cute, but practicality and logistics are important,” Bartlett said.

The City of Victoria told Black Press that purchasing the table, including taxes and delivery, totalled $5,150.

The Humboldt Plaza was the focus of the Douglas/Humboldt engagement process, which the City says involved 17 meetings with key stakeholders, four meetings with community associations, one public open house, and 1,395 survey responses in which a ping pong table was presented as an option.

Paddles and ping pong balls are still being purchased and distributed, and will be given to local businesses and schools shortly.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

bike lanesCity of Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police continue to investigate a break-and-enter in this Sidney jewelry store in the 2500-block of Beacon Avenue. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Thieves hit Sidney jewelry store

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP says incident is not part of a larger trend

Sam Liu, an assistant professor of kinesiology at UVic, has found extroverts, particularly people who are very active and social, are experiencing higher levels of distress throughout the pandemic. (Provided by UVic Photo Services)
University of Victoria study finds extroverts experiencing higher stress levels during pandemic

Degree of extroversion influences individual perception of stress during the pandemic

A rare Short-eared owl was found dead in a Saanich backyard on Oct. 26 and will be sent for a necropsy to find out if it had ingested rat poison. (Photo courtesy Kimberly Adamec)
Rare owl found dead in Saanich yard to be sent for necropsy

Short-eared owl ‘vulnerable’ in B.C., owl advocate says

This house in the 600-block of Linden Avenue in Fairfield has a Día de Muertos theme for 2020. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Haunted Oak Bay

Residents spookify houses

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch #91, said plans for a new building will ensure long-term sustainability. (Black Press Media file photo)
Plans for new Legion in Langford include low-cost housing for seniors

Project could be before council in early 2021

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson leaves the stage after announcing he is stepping down as party leader, during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Too rural, not enough diversity, soul searching needed, say BC Liberals

Elections BC says there are about 600,000 mail-in and absentee ballots across the province still to count

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

An elderly woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past an advertisement for a television series in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. has been under a COVID-19 state of emergency for more than half the year

Province has been under a state of emergency for 32 weeks – and counting

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Most Read