WAVERLEY: The local councillor says the motion for an area rate review by HRM staff which will eliminate the grants program from the LWF Ratepayers Association in future years is not a move to eventually see the community’s gem, the Windsor Junction Community Centre (WJCC), come under HRM’s ownership.
Steve Streatch said any thought or assertion that that is the goal behind the moves is just that an assertion with no truth to it. The WJCC was deeded to the community of Windsor Junction so the community owns it, and HRM cannot purchase it.
”These two items, the area rate grants program and the WJCC, have absolutely nothing to do with one another,” said Streatch. “The core funding that this area rate is collected to provide is community recreation. It was never, ever intended to have a surplus.
“Right now the area rate that is collected is more than is needed to fund the core mandate of the WJCC, the Lakeview Park, and Keloose.”
Streatch said the decision at regional council was simple—they will collect enough to fund the WJCC based on the budget they submit yearly, and HRM will maintain it.
Where does this leave the WJCC in the future?
“All I have ever offered for the future is an invitation that if the centre, if the community decides that they want greater support, if they want to expand their mandate and they want the municipality to be involved, I would be more than happy to champion that cause,” said Streatch.
Streatch used the Bicentennial Theatre in Middle Musquodoboit and the rink in Musquodoboit Harbour as examples, both are owned by HRM but governed by locally elected community board of directors. They benefited from that type of arrangement, he said.
“They receive core funding from the general rate, whereby everyone in HRM shares in the funding, not just a few that are burdened by an area rate,” he said.
Streatch said he would only be interested in exploring this type of discussion if the community was interested.