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Powell River recreation complex saved from budget cuts

POWELL RIVER, B.C. – The Powell River Recreation Complex has been saved from major budget cuts at the finance committee’s most recent meeting.

“The determination, after the huge public outcry towards the recreation cuts, the committee sort of directed staff to go back and make the cuts across all departments. Rather than suggesting that the $190,000 shortfall of budget cuts come just from recreation, it’s going to be directed towards all departments at the city,” said councillor CaroleAnn Leishman.

Leishman has been an advocate to save the rec complex from barring the brunt of all cuts since its was first suggested. Last month, she advocated in favour of the rec complex via social media.

“I definitely feel much better, and I’m really happy that our local residents have really taken notice to these proposed cuts and voiced their concern loudly,” she said.

“I think staff and council have heard that. It’s really good to see that our recreation facility is so important to the citizens and just making that clear was really important.”

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Leishman said it’s now been suggested that two items on the original list of nine cuts at the rec complex take effect. Those include $12,000 for staff training and $7500 for fitness room staffing.

“They were on the list and those were the two that I said, I think I could probably stomach those two if those were the cuts, I wouldn’t want to see too much more than that because that does start impacting service levels,” she said.

“If those were the types of things that were cut, then that would probably make sense in terms of just being more efficient in staffing.”

Leishman added that she does not believe there will be a loss of staff, but suggested that the cuts would mean something like less staff training conferences, etc.

She said that as of right now, until an updated report is developed and approve, she couldn’t say for sure exactly what those cuts would look like, but was optimistic that there would not be a loss of staff.

She noted that nothing is official yet, and the full finance report with the new suggestions will come to the finance committee at their next meeting on March 22.

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