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Five years in, RECC anticipates first annual operating surplus



After experiencing operating deficits its first few years of operation, the Rath-Eastlink Community Centre (RECC) is anticipating a $200,000 surplus for the current fiscal year.

“So, we’re very happy about that,” said Truro Mayor Bill Mills, after hearing a financial report from RECC manager Matt Moore.

A joint council meeting was conducted between the town and the Municipality of Colchester last week.

“We’re heading in the right direction,” Mills said. “They continue to be on the upswing.”

Moore said February and March have historically been the facility’s strongest months, financially. He hopes that trend continues and there are no major system failures or surprises before the completion of the fiscal year at month’s end.

“Knock on wood,” he said in an interview. “We had a great year.”

The fiscal year got off to a good start last April, Moore said, when the Truro Junior A Bearcats won the Maritime Hockey League championship. Momentum continued with with such events as the Travis Tritt show, the Price Is Right, Dallas Smith and the World Junior A Challenge in December, when the ice surface was fully booked for 10 straight days.

Another contributing factor has been the increased membership, which has grown from about 1,400 to more than 3,000 over the past couple of years.

Whatever surplus is realized is to be put into a capital reserve, to protect against future expenditures as required.

“We want to get that built up so there are no surprises, where the RECC has to come back to the municipalities and say we have a big problem and you guys are going to have to pony up the money,” Mills said. “Both councils are adamant that what we put in per year, from each municipal unit, is not going to increase.”

The facility is actually owned by the town and county, which are responsible for capital expenses and operational grants of $600,000 per year from each municipality.

The capital request for the upcoming fiscal year is $122,000 (to be equally spilt by the town and county) to cover pool replacement parts and equipment, totalling $42,000. There are also asphalt repairs ($20,000), heating upgrades for the offices leased by the Colchester East Hants Health Authority ($10,000), a parking lot perimeter expansion ($25,000) and main entrance doors ($25,000).

Another $113,000 is being requested from The RECC board for a variety of maintenance and system upgrade projects.

Colchester Mayor Christine Blair said she was pleased there were “no big surprises” during Moore’s presentation. She added, however, ongoing maintenance expenses come with ownership.

“We now have a five-year-old facility,” she said. “You are going to have to start with more maintenance things.”

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