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  

Just Posted

SD63 strike officially ends with union’s vote to accept agreement

More than 7,000 Saanich and Peninsula students back to school Monday

Outrigger canoe teams race over two days to raise money for men’s health initiatives

WetDashe for men’s health highlights benefits of year-round sport on the West Coast

Heritage Haunted House rakes in more than $10,000 to help fill children’s dreams

Spooky fundrasier has been scaring community for 13 years

Investigate the paranormal at Point Ellice House this December

Museum hosting ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’ event

Northbound lanes re-open along Malahat after small rockslide near Goldstream

Drivers asked to use caution, clean-up crews have finished on-site

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Most Read