My views on funding of Recreation Facilities

Potential Funding Options
To Build the Four Proposed
Recreation Centres in Calgary
 December 5, 2011
Alderman Shane Keating
Ward 12
Following the recent, and unfortunate, decision via PPP Canada to deny the City of Calgary’s funding application for the creation of four recreation centres in Calgary, the need to move forward is paramount.

There are a number of avenues that can be investigated to accomplish the goal of ensuring that recreation centres are a reality for the hundreds of thousands of Calgarians who would make use of these facilities.

With the removal of the PPP Canada option, the City of Calgary must do what it can to ensure that the commitment which made to Calgarians, to provide recreation options to the more that 84,000 children, and their families, in Seton, Quarry Park, Northwest Calgary and Great Plains.

The city has funds dedicated for recreation from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, which were part of the original funding schedule attached to the PPP Canada application.

These funds are still available to be used towards the recreation centres. An innovative approach to using the currently available funds, combined with one or more of the following funding options will result in satisfying the needs of Calgarians.

Currently through MSI funding, there is $150 million available to go towards recreation.
 
Current MSI funding allocated

  • Seton $70 million
  • Quarry Park
  • Northwest Regional $70 million
  • Great Plains $10 million

The remaining amount would need to come from one, or a combination, of the following sources.


Funding Sources Potential Available Funding
  • Community Investment Reserve
  • Acreage Assessments Levies
  • Debt Financing
  • Private Funding
  • Fundraising   

In the spirit of moving forward immediately, I have proposed to Administration for their views on how to proceed, using a combination of the above options but not limited to:

Fundraising

A potential option to accompany the funds dedicated through MSI and, or, any combination of tax room and reserve fund contributes would be a fundraising component.

Not-for-profit groups such as SECRS exist that could fundraise with the intent of supporting the costs of building a particular site(s).

If each potential centre had a non-profit organization stewarding the fundraising efforts, the community investment would be high, which may offset other financing needs.

For-Profit Recreational Organizations

Another opportunity exists where for-profit sports organizations could attach themselves to a particular site and operate as a particular component of the centre, for example, ice or hockey organizations, fitness providers, tennis facilities, and other specialized or for-profit outfits that may have an interest.

Private Corporation Funding

The support of Corporate groups with an interest of providing recreation services within the centres that might provide funds required to underwrite the construction.