General News · 11th October 2017
The Southern Cortes Community Association (SCCA), was incorporated in 1956 under the B.C. Societies Act as a non-profit community organization, and is a Charity registered by the federal government. The SCCA owns and manages Mansonís Landing Community Hall and other facilities, providing numerous services and programs available to all Cortes Islanders of all ages.
Over the years, the cost of operating and maintaining Mansonís Community Centre has always been touch-and-go. Uncertainty regarding income from usersí fees and whether longer-term rentals will stay. Some years, fund-raising efforts have met with significant positive response some years, especially from private foundations. Other years small donations have helped but often barely enough to keep things going.
The steadiest source of funding since 2012 has been the gaming grant, averaging about $39,000 for four years until last year when the BC Gaming Commission cut out administrative funding for all of its grantees province-wide. This took $15,500 out of SCCA revenues for operating Mansonís Community Centre and prompted an urgent appeal for donations which brought in just enough to pay our insurance and necessitated reduced service to the community last winter.
The Society will again be asking for the generous support of Islanders to fund our community center this year, and next. See Pages 2&3 of P&L 15-17+BUDGET: REVENUE SHEET/EXPENSE SHEET
It has been suggested that the SCCA cut programs to reduce expenses. Three of the four programs the SCCA runs (playschool, summer youth recreation and the skatepark) are fully funded by fees, contracts and grants, and we donít expect this to change. The fourth program (community resources) is 75% funded by a portion of the gaming grant which we still expect to receive. Community Resources provides assistance to Cortes Islanders through the Food Bank, Income Tax preparation by volunteers, help with obtaining provincial child care and rental housing subsidies, and related office services. See Page 4 of P&L 15-17+BUDGET: SCCA PROGRAMS & GAMING FUNDS.
The SCCA has been very successful in obtaining federal, provincial and private foundation grants for improvements to Mansonís Community Centre. Clearly these government departments and private donors see its value for all of Cortes Island. Those funds and how they were used are detailed in the attached documents: SCCA CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT GRANTS, DONATIONS and PROGRAM GRANTS 2010-17 and in MANSONíS HALL RENOVATIONS 2010-2017.
Grants and donations over the last eight years have totaled over $890,000 which have provided many days of employment for islanders and have been used to purchase materials and equipment to upgrade our facilities, now valued at $1.1 million.
Only a small fraction (2.7%) of that grant money has been available for our day-to-day operating costs of Mansonís Hall (staff wages, office expenses, insurance, custodial services, utilities and maintenance). We have searched everywhere for grants that would help with those costs. They just arenít out there. As a result, we are currently facing an operating shortfall of $27,000.00, and there are no emergency funds for urgent, unexpected repairsÖ.and our main hall roof is leaking.
This is why the SCCA board is reaching out to the Cortes community to establish core funding through the Strathcona Regional District (SRD). Most local governments in BC provide significant funding for community centers and recreational facilities for their residents. We are asking the SRD board to hold a referendum on a specific property tax proposal which will be worked out in consultation with Cortes residents and property owners. The SCCA is committed to an open community process, and we are posting our financial statements online. We are asking for a tax service to fund Core Costs, which would raise $46,000 a year for Mansonís Community Center, and we ask that the spending of these funds be limited to operating and maintenance costs of community center facilities. We are asking Core Support to include electricity, heating, garbage collection, telephone, fax, internet, property taxes, insurance, management payroll, janitorial payroll and maintenance.
This revenue would not eliminate the need for fund-raising, grants, user fees and rental income. It would, however, enable the SCCA to continue providing the level of services and facilities that so many islanders value and use regularly, to expand our programs, and to maintain our community center as a legacy for future generations.
The SCCAís financial statements are attached. If you have questions or want clarification on any aspect, please email fundingourhallgmail.com and we will reply.