General News · 31st May 2010
Annual General Meeting May 31, 2010 Reports
Presidents Report: Myrna Kerr
2009 – 2010 has been a very challenging year for the SCCA Board of Directors. It is difficult sometimes to look ahead when our inclination is to dwell on the past and present, but vision and good planning is the difference between a hall with a dysfunctional economy and no guaranteed future and one that is culturally, economically and environmentally healthy.
Manson’s Hall has been a vibrant community centre for the past 50 years, a registered non-profit and federally registered charitable society; the Southern Cortes Community Association (SCCA) is managed by a volunteer board.
As a meeting place for the islanders and where the majority of community activities take place, Manson’s Hall has slowly added community recreation, youth, health and education services over the years. The post office, a library, a pre-school, the North Island College office, the credit union, a doctor’s clinic, a radio station - whatever services were needed, Manson’s Hall has stretched and added to so it could accommodate the changes and growing cultural, recreation and social needs of the Cortes community over the years.
These services were funded through income from rentals, BC Government Gaming Branch Grants, grants from private foundations, Regional District Grants in Aid, membership fees and fundraising events. For the 2010 – 2011 year the Community Gaming Grant was refused because the SCCA had retained more than 50 per cent of the previous year’s operating expenses. The money retained was designated for two previously approved projects, play ground equipment for the Play School and the replacement of the front doors. It is the policy of the SCCA to use Cortes Islanders contractors to provide services whenever possible. These projects had not been completed only because local contractors were not available within the 12 month guidelines. Although the money set aside for these projects was clearly marked, the Gaming Branch chose to ignore and this has put the SCCA in financial crisis.
The aging of the Manson’s Hall has become a serious issue. Repairs and maintenance have been dealt with on an ad hoc basis, almost always as an emergency, for example the purchase of a new furnace in 2007.
At the 2008 AGM a report, “Schedule of Building Repairs” made by Cortes Consulting Limited identified 30 repairs/reconstruction/replacement problems which are critically required but at a total cost was estimated at $96,600. It was because of the increasing maintenance and repair requirements the SCCA approached the Comox Strathcona Regional District in 2007 and again, at the 2008 AGM, to be included as a Regional District funded service.
The SCCA membership will have the opportunity to discuss and vote on the question of property tax dollar support for Manson’s Hall after the business of the AGM is completed. At the April 12th meeting of the SCCA Board of Directors a motion was passed to “recommend a parcel tax to SCCA members at the AGM as it is the simplest form of taxation.”
I have had letters of support, for funding the community hall through property taxes, from 22 landowners who live only part time on Cortes. The letters have come from as far away as Britain, from the U.S. and from Canada.
This was written by Doug Hooper who lives in Vancouver, BC:
“In our view, the community halls are central to Cortes culture, providing both direct and indirect benefits to Islanders. They are critical community amenities – supporting arts, culture and recreational activities and, importantly, providing a ‘gathering place’ for the
community to come together, building healthy friendships and inter-dependency (resilience) for the whole community.
Treasurer’s Report: Del Hendon
There seems to be a lot of confusion and misinformation about where SCCA money comes from and how it is spent. In the year 2009-2010 the SCCA had 5 separate accounts and 5 separate sources of income for these accounts:
North Island College (NIC) Education Assistance Fund: This is donated money to be used to help students pay for educational material (textbooks) and can only be given to NIC students at the request of the Cortes Island NIC faculty staff. When this money is all spent the account will be closed. The SCCA cannot use this money for any other purpose.
March 31/10 balance: $1,210.32
Play Park (Skateboard): The Play Park is owned by the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Parks. There is a contract between the SCCA and SRD for the maintenance and/or upgrade, and directed by the SRD, the SCCA maintains the Skateboard Park. A small administrative fee is paid to the SCCA but the money received from the Regional District must be spent exclusively on the Park. The SCCA cannot use this money for any other purpose.
March 31/10 balance: $10,906.05
Summer Youth Program: In the 2009 year $12,600 was granted from B.C. Government Gaming Branch to run the summer youth program. Additional money to cover the cost is from fees and donations. Surpluses have been put in reserve for the next year program.
March 31/10 balance $3,348.31 (This money has been transferred to Gaming Account for playground equipment.)
BC Government Gaming Branch: Gaming Branch Revenue comes from gambling, not from taxes. The money from Gaming is spent as it is designated by the Gaming Branch. If the money is not spent in the year it is granted it must be returned or a written request made asking for the money be differed to the next year. Each year the SCCA asks for “X” number of dollars for different applications – so much for administration and office costs, children’s programs, adult programs, cultural events etc and the Gaming Branch reviews the SCCA requests and grants according to their internal guideline. The Manson Hall new doors, which some people love and some don’t, were paid by Gaming money and if the money had not been spent on doors the money would have had to be returned to the government.
All the Hall office equipment, most of the sound system, hall chairs, some playschool and youth equipment, office supplies and the Hall Managers wages have been paid by Gaming Branch grants.
SCCA Manson’s Hall: The revenue that comes from short and long term rentals, grants (unless specified for specific projects), donations, Thrift Store, membership fees, Friday Market, donations, and Cortes Day are used to pay for operating expenses. Hydro, heat (oil), janitor and janitorial supplies, taxes, garbage collection and insurance, etc and for maintenance, repairs and upgrades – septic tank cleaning, gutter cleaning, snow and ice removal, carpet cleaning, plumbing repairs, fire extinguisher and fire alarm annual maintenance and other small repairs. Over the past five years the SCCA has done major upgrading – the Hall was to meet Fire Code Regulations, the water system had to be upgraded to meet Vancouver Island Health requirements, old furnaces were replaced, a filtration system was installed, rotting foundations were replaced, the floor insulated and rat proofed. Last year the east wall was replaced and new opening windows installed.
Over the years I think the SCCA Board have done an excellent job of maintaining and improving Manson’s Hall, doing the upgrades as needed and keeping the old building going. There has always been money in the bank to cover expenses and a small contingency fund. Many programs have be offered, the level of rent kept at a level that non-profit groups can afford, all done for the people of Cortes Island. The SCCA has had many volunteers over the years, thank you all, but sometimes the SCCA must hire work done when there are no volunteers or the task requires licensed contract work (electrician, plumber, etc). In the past materials and labour were donated and work bees completed quite major projects but we live in a different era now and public buildings have to conform to codes and regulations and that does cost. Whenever possible the SCCA Board has purchased locally and hired Cortes islanders to do the work required, for example, the new doors.
Friday market 8,439.75
Cortes day 2,531.31
Thrift store 2,024.09
Misc income 1,616.28
Youth program 10,080.61
Children fund 200.00
Total Revenue 56,616.92
Gaming grant 34,400.00
Tides foundation 32,974.00
Gaming previous year (door) 5,000.00
Total Deferred Revenue 128,990.92
Fund raising 2,846.17
Children fund 493.86
Repairs & maintenance 3,155.95
Total Disbursements 118,020.44
Excess Revenues over Disbursements 10,970.48
Playground equipment 10,000.00
Total Deferred Expenses 20.405.00
Net Loss 9,434.52
Playschool Report: Laura Heslin
This has been a transition year for the playschool as we wished Paola a warm farewell and welcomed Odette Auger in to the position of Playschool Teacher.
Odette is a long time Island resident with 2 young children and comes to us with an arts and education background in working with youth and special needs. She is currently working towards her ECE certificate and has been fortunate to practicum with both Dayna Davis and Paola this year.
We also welcomed a new bookkeeper in February, and are very grateful for her contributions to our operations.
We have many new little faces this year and the children love the nature walks that Odette has incorporated into the daily routine.
This year has also seen the pioneering of two new children's programs: French Club for 4-6 year olds taught by Natalie Castonguay and PlayCare, after school care for 2.5-6 year olds supervised by Odette.
These new programs are open to any SCCA member on the Island, regardless of their participation in the playschool program.
Both programs are well attended and we are very excited to see the PlaySchool room be used by more children and serve community needs by providing enriched programming and offering childcare.
It is also a new volunteer parent committee that is overseeing the PlaySchool operations this year. This small group of parents have committed hundreds of hours to keeping the playschool running.
We have learned that there were Gaming Grant funds given to the PlaySchool in 2007 for use on the playground structure. We are currently working with a local contractor to use these funds to re-create our outdoor play space.
The tire swing was removed due to a rotting post. It will be re-installed as a part of our playground renovations.
The parents held a spring work bee and began much needed playground clean up. Thank you to all who came out.
We are working towards meeting more child care and programming needs and are planning to continue the French Club throughout the summer and offer child care for the ages of 2.5 to school age during the July and August.
We are grateful for the on going support of parents, the SCCA, and the larger community.
Cemetery Report: Ann Dewar
Ian Disney continues his voluntary maintenance of the cemetery and deserves a huge thank you from the whole community. Thanks also to the other committee members for their support year round. We are planning our annual work bee for June 8th at 10:00 am. Please bring tools. There has been a donation of headstones for the graves that were unmarked. There were no internments this year.
Hall Manager’s Report: Mary Lavelle
I took the manager’s position over from Walter Nugent in November 2009, and have been enjoying working for the community in a myriad of ways. The hall manager looks after both the building, the programs and the people within it. I love the quick greeting and friendly smiles I get from so many folks of so many ages each day that I work. What a great community we live in!
The building and systems need lots of attention – we have gone through a two month long Boil Water Advisory, during which I worked closely with VIHA to get the water back up to standard without the hall being shut down. The septic tank has been pumped, and the field is operating well. The new doors were installed, making entries and exits much smoother and easier.
I continue to do administration for the playschool and the skate park, along with managing the short and long term leases.
The main hall is used by everyone from babes in arms to seniors for celebrations and recreation of all kinds, We say goodbye to loved ones, celebrate weddings and birthdays, dance, hear music, have meetings and play games,. It is great to have the public space to accommodate these diverse events. The tears and laughter of our community are held in the walls and floors of our hall.
A heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers, past and present, who have lent their time, money and energy to creating our wonderful, vibrant Manson’s Hall.
SCCA Board Code of Conduct
1. Share and carry out responsibilities of Board of Directors.
2. Represent the interests of all the people served by the organization.
3. Keep confidential information confidential.
4. Approach all SCCA Board issues with an open mind.
5. Make decisions for the Board in the best interests of the Board and the organization.
6. Uphold the trust of the electors/members.
7. Focus efforts on the purpose, core values and the constitutional purpose of the organization and not on personal goals.
8. Exercise authority as a Board member only and do not speak for the Board as a whole in public situations unless authorized to do so.
9. Abide by federal, provincial and municipal laws.
10. Attend at least 2/3 of all regularly scheduled Board meetings. Notify the President prior to meetings if they cannot attend.
Passed May 2004