White Rock Museum & Archives society president Marilena Fluckiger was among six people to appeal for increased museum funding Monday

White Rock museum renews appeal for more funds

A lack of funding is turning talk of ways to improve White Rock's museum into 'exercises in frustration,' council hears.

Staff and volunteers at White Rock Museum & Archives have big dreams for the city’s heritage-showcase facility.

But a lack of funding is turning talk of how to achieve those dreams into “exercises in frustration,” council members heard Monday.

“We’re realizing that our ambitious plans are hitting roadblocks,” Marilena Fluckiger, the museum society’s president, said during an opportunity for public comments on the city’s 2014-2018 draft financial plan.

The appeal for increased funding – echoed by four other volunteers, who said the museum’s paid staff can’t keep up with demands – followed an update on the financial plan by the city’s director of financial services.

Last month, Sandra Kurylo told the city’s finance and audit committee that staff are recommending a 5.25-per-cent increase in property taxes for 2014. She explained the boost is higher than projected (3.28 per cent) due to expected major changes to operations and resources required – including the city’s possible purchase of its water utility.

Monday, in response to a Nov. 18 request to look into reducing the tax increase by two per cent, Kurylo told the committee it would require either cutting expenses by $378,000 or finding the equivalent in new revenue.

She suggested the savings could be found by increasing the budget for new property taxes from development by $100,000; increasing the budgets for investment income and rental income by $33,000 and $75,000, respectively; deferring the start dates of two recommended new staff positions (for a combined savings of $110,000); and adding $60,000 from an operating reserve.

In response to a request from museum director Paul Oxley in October for  more than double the city’s annual $92,000 contribution, the first draft of the financial plan proposed a $10,000 increase for 2014.

Monday, citing feedback that followed that suggestion, Kurylo recommended a further increase of $23,000 (to a total of $125,000).

Oxley questioned the smaller sum, noting that if grants had kept up with cost-of-living increases, annual funding would total $170,000. He said the proposed grant only ensures the museum remains static and is unable to meet the public’s expectations.

“Why do you want us to just make do?” Oxley asked. “Council has an opportunity tonight to say to White Rock that they believe in the museum.

“The decision before council tonight is for some reason a difficult one. It should be easy.”

Executive director Sharon Oldaker said the museum is “on the cusp” of either realizing greatness or beginning to unravel.

“We have all the puzzle pieces we need, except adequate funding,” she said.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin said it will take time to address the museum’s funding needs.

“It’s unfortunate that your grants did not get increased with inflation,” he said. “But we can try and correct that, however, I don’t think we can correct it all at once.”

The committee voted unanimously to move the amended draft financial plan forward to council. Consideration of first and second reading of the bylaw is anticipated Dec. 16. Written comments will be accepted at city hall (15322 Buena Vista Ave.) until Monday (Dec. 9).

 

 

Just Posted

House fire in South Surrey

Emergency crews seen racing towards 160 Street and 28 Avenue

FOCUS: New arena, more ice in Surrey – but will it be enough for everyone?

With both rinks to close at North Surrey rec, the result is a net gain of one ice sheet this fall

Pair of men charged in three robberies in Surrey, Delta

Charged are Karmal Singh Grewal, 26, of Vancouver and Gursimran Sahota, 21, of Surrey

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at Surrey vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

Two suspects sought after man shot in Surrey’s Hawthorne Park Sunday

Police say victim was arrested after being treated for gunshot in hospital

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Chilliwack grad says modest dress codes don’t protect girls from assault

Sardis alumni was ‘catcalled, harassed, and groped by my male classmates’ despite modest clothing

One of the biggest cow shows in Canada is coming back to the ‘Wack

Prize money of $240,000 is on offer at the spring Holstein show Friday at Chilliwack Heritage Park

VIDEO: Race and sport examined at new We Are Hockey exhibit in Abbotsford

UFV SASI hosting exhibit looking at hockey history and race

Nearly 40% of British Columbians not taking their medications correctly: poll

Introduction of legal cannabis could cause more issues for drug interactions

Mining company fined $70,000 after two workers killed in B.C. truck crash

Broda Construction pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe workplace at Cranbrook rock quarry

B.C. argues it cannot stop Trans Mountain, but it can protect environment

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says only Ottawa has the authority to decide what goes in trans-boundary pipelines

B.C. poverty plan combines existing spending, housing programs

Target is to lift 140,000 people out of poverty from 2016 level

Most Read

l -->