TRURO – Projected deficits for the Rath Eastlink Community Centre are less than expected.
A financial overview of the RECC’s first seven months of operation was presented to Truro town council on Monday.
Jim Lambert, general manager of the community centre, summed up that the centre was projected to have a $392,000 deficit but in reality, the actual deficit is about $390,626.
“The plan is to bring the deficit down” even more, said Lambert, adding one of the areas that was severely over budget was power consumption.
He said that total came in at more than $150,000 over projected budget figures. Lambert added the centre is working with energy officials and town and county representatives for ideas and information on how to reduce the power bill.
Coun. Danny Joseph said despite the “rosy picture” of a lower than anticipated deficit, it’s “still a deficit.”
Coun. Raymond Tynes wanted to know what will be done to reduce future cost overruns, including possibly “wages and administration costs.”
Lambert said, “staffing will be (looked) at … and we are stepping into the concert” realm even more.
“With proper marketing I think we can turn (deficits) around,” said Truro Mayor Bill Mills, adding he’s heard from other Atlantic Canada mayors that their communities are experiencing the same issues with community centres.
Tynes also asked about lower-income people who want to make use of the centre but can’t afford its services.
“The taxpayers put a lot of money into this. Not everybody can afford it ... are there plans to help the middle (and) low income and single parents?” asked Tynes.
Lambert said the local recreation departments have been identifying who is considered low income and those people are being allowed to use the centre for free.
“The recreation departments are administering it,” Lambert confirmed with the Truro Daily News, adding that initiative has been taking place for about two weeks.