WINDSOR JUNCTION: Steve Streatch said he would be interested in discussing whether the current structure in place with the Windsor Junction Community Centre is in its best interest for its long-term future.
The councillor for Waverley-Fall River-Musquodoboit Valley was questioned on if a similar approach as to what is being put in place for the Waverley Community Association—where the HRM looks after costs and budgeting, while a volunteer board continues to operate—for the WJCC could be coming down the road.
“Is the structure that exists today the best approach?” asked Streatch in an interview with The Laker. “I don’t know, but I am open to discussing all options.”
Streatch said the WJCC is a very important piece of the community of Windsor Junction. It is privately owned.
“It is supported through an area rate that is collected by the municipality,” said Streatch. “For all intense and purposes that is tax money that is collected and turned over to a private organization.
“There are agreements in place that look after this at this particular time.”
He said he’s had people ask him why HRM hasn’t already put in place the system they have at the Bicentennial Theatre in Middle Musquodoboit. The HRM took over the facility, taking the burden off of the volunteers.
“The requirement won’t be on the volunteer board to come up with a budget every year and to jump through the hoops to acquire the area rate funding,” said Streatch. “It would then be funded by the general tax rate whereby everyone in HRM shares, not just the folks in the catchment areas of the LWF Ratepayers Association.”
Streatch said those discussions have yet to be had. He said the continuity of the WJCC is not in jeopardy.
“Their funding is secure, the area rate is still in place to fund the WJCC and it’s associated activities,” he said.
Colleen Menard, chairwoman of the WJCC board, said the structure that currently exists works.
”If the councillor is looking for change, he should have that discussion with the community,” said Menard when asked to respond to what Streatch said. “Does our LWF community think this kind of change would be positive? Has our councillor looked at the legalities involved with ownership of the WJCC?”
She said as volunteers, they don’t see the work they do as “jumping through hoops”.
“We get a lot of joy from volunteering our time to ensure the LWF community can rely on the WJCC facility to create meaningful community connections and family memories,” said Menard. “Through our AGM, our local residents raise their hands in support of our work, confirming that we are delivering these experiences, year after year.”