White Rock's free summer trolley service is to run Saturdays

White Rock's free summer trolley service is to run Saturdays

Funding rift rocks White Rock trolley

City council agrees to make up amount not funded by BIA

Tourism White Rock has been dealt another financial blow, with a decision by the city’s business improvement association to axe its support for a return of the free summer trolley.

The move is a $20,000 hit that some officials say was unexpected. It follows a similar-sized cut to base funding for the tourism group that was made by the BIA last fall.

“I was really shocked,” Coun. Al Campbell said Monday of the recent decision, after the issue was raised by Coun. Helen Fathers.

But BIA president Lynne Sinclair said the news should not have come as a surprise.

“We made it clear this year all along that we expected them to solicit funding from the city and funding from corporate sponsorships as well because we didn’t want to pay a disproportionate amount,” Sinclair told Peace Arch News Tuesday. “We communicated the decision of the board with the factors contained in it a couple of weeks ago.”

Fathers told council she heard of the funding shortfall over the weekend and asked prior to the meeting to add the issue to the agenda.

Council members criticized the BIA’s move, then voted unanimously to fill the gap from a reserve fund.

Campbell – council’s liaison to the tourism group – told PAN that Tourism White Rock needs $38,000-$40,000 to run the trolley for the summer, with weekend service to begin in July. He said officials believed a handshake earlier this year had ensured the continued partnership.

“We came to an agreement and we left the room,” he said. “We thought it came across pretty clearly that they liked the (trolley) idea.”

However, nothing was put in writing, according to TWR executive director Betina Albornoz.

“The BIA had expressed interest in supporting the trolley at a joint meeting,” Albornoz told PAN, explaining details were to be worked out.

Sinclair disagreed.

“We said we were interested in pursuing the trolley, but there was a number of things that had to be worked out first,” she said.

“That’s all that was ever said. We made it really clear that there were a number of things that bothered us about last time.”

Sinclair – a former White Rock councillor – cited a lack of promised advertising for BIA members inside the trolley and minimal credit for BIA support as among deciding factors.

“Most people didn’t know the BIA was even funding it,” she said of the pilot run.

Sinclair said a requested analysis of the trolley’s inaugural season was not done; the BIA received complaints that the trolley took too long to do its loop; and passengers took up parking at Central Plaza, impacting businesses.

Albornoz said by email Tuesday only that “we are focusing on the task at hand and simply thrilled that this project is happening.

“Our stance with the BIA, and all of our community partners, has always been one of open camaraderie and mutual communication. We respect any decisions that these community partners deem they feel necessary to make.”

Last fall, when the first cut was confirmed, BIA officials said it was about fiscal responsibility.

Wednesday, Sinclair said fiscal responsibility continues to factor, announcing that the BIA board voted the evening before to contribute up to $6,000 to the trolley initiative.

“We’re happy to make up the ($6,000) shortfall. Very pleased to be able to contribute a much more appropriate amount for us.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

White Rock council say closure of the city’s pier, promenade and parking lots are not under consideration at this time, but have approved other COVID-19 options for the waterfront including stepped-up RCMP patrols that are already part of detachment planning. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock pier, promenade, parking lot closures off the table – for now

Council members warn decision subject to future provincial health orders

It remains to be seen how tourism dollars announced this week will help in White Rock. (Sterling Cunningham file photo)
White Rock officials question if tourism relief will come soon enough

For business, budget ‘feels more like a placeholder,’ says chamber head

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
South Surrey, White Rock MLAs call Tuesday’s provincial budget ‘disappointing’

MLAs Stephanie Cadieux and Trevor Halford say residents are getting less for more

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

(File photo)
Three young girls followed while walking home from school, Surrey police say

RCMP say suspect took off after girls went into nearby store for help

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read