Should the city charge non-profits for community centre room rentals?

Should not-for-profit community groups be able to use meeting rooms and halls at the Revelstoke Community Centre for free?

Should not-for-profit community groups be able to use meeting rooms and halls at the Revelstoke Community Centre for free?

A staff report to be discussed at the Oct. 25 city council meeting looks at whether the practice should continue and will also serve as a precursor to a newly-revised bylaw expected in November.

Currently, city policy doesn’t exempt these groups from paying the rental fees, but the longstanding practise has been to exempt them. A policy review noted the discrepancy and Parks, Recreation and Culture staff are now seeking council direction, including the possibility of a revised policy that may exempt some but not others.

The report pegs the total in-kind freebies from January to September of 2011 at $75,481. $71,106 of that was for room rentals and the remaining $4,375 was for in-kind pool and equipment rentals.

Letters from several athletic and community organizations are attached to the report, all encouraging that free use of the facilities for non-profits continue. The tone of the letters indicates there is apparent confusion about the existing policies and new policies being considered.

The staff report advises that the de facto exemptions should continue because of the services provided to the community by the clubs and organizations, but opens the door for a new policy that spells out who gets a room for free and who doesn’t. The report breaks down the in-kind contributions into organizations that are focused on youth and those that are adult-focused.

Although the vast majority of clubs and organizations that received exemptions between January and September of this year are easily identified as youth or community-focused volunteer clubs, there are several that arguably fall outside these categories. These include union meetings, the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch, City of Revelstoke meetings and Columbia-Shuswap Regional District meetings.

A total of $40,306 of the in-kind donations are to groups categorized as “businesses” in the report.

The staff report notes that charging groups that were not previously charged would mean some would seek meeting space elsewhere.

Most of the organizations received in the neighbourhood of a few hundred dollars in in-kind free rentals. However, some individual organizations received far more. The Revelstoke Shotokan Karate Club was by far the biggest recipient, receiving $35,905 in that nine-month period. Next was The Revelstoke Theatre Group at $6,499 and in third was the City of Revelstoke at $4,310.

The Parks, Recreation and Culture Department is also hosting a public information session on the issue this Monday, Oct. 24 in the Community Centre’s Macpherson Room at 7 p.m. Attendees are not being asked to chip in for the room rental.


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

Just Posted

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

COVID-19 minimizes Okanagan Regional Library budget increase

Library adapts to pandemic fiscal disruptions

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Cops For Kids ride wraps in Okanagan

No pomp, no circumstance for end of milestone 20th anniversary fundraising bicycle trip

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1,300 for a one-bedroom and $1,780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Reward offered for return of Okanagan puppy

An 11-week-old boxer-mastiff cross pup was allegedly taken from its Kelowna Friday, Sept. 18

Most Read