At left is Strathcona Paper Centre complete with $130,000 flashing sign. Our Recreation Department also doubles as our Parks Department. Thus, it’s impossible to determine how much was spent on each. Even the auditor doesn’t give the breakdown in the Financial Statements. Council, generally paints a rosy picture but hockey enrollment is down and hydro, a major operating expense, has nearly doubled and is expected to increase another 42% under current Provincial policy. Rumors persist that the arena is losing money. Is it?
The 2015 Budget Summary circulated with the tax bills shows:
Arena gross expense $1,823,979
Arena revenue $1,322,950
Arena net levy $ 501,029 (5.31% of net levy)
This equals $49.36 taxes on an urban residence ($33.56 on a rural residence) with $150,000 assessment.
This is the 5th largest item on the budget, after roads, fire, police and administration.
Is it worth it? Guess it depends on how much you love our national sport….
What did the arena cost? Amazingly, no one seems to know. The Financial Information Returns show the cost of our recreational facilities (which would include not only the arena, but the Rotary pool/splash pad, and possibly baseball/soccer fields), as follows:
January 1, 2009 $11,124,484
January 1, 2014 $12,207,571
We did add some seating and a $130,000 flashing sign during that time. But $1.1-million in 5 years? Are some arena expenses being capitalized to make losses appear smaller? Do any of our council members know? Okay, we all know they don’t. But have any of them asked? Shouldn’t someone ask before we start on a pool?
See also Our Taxes at Work on this site for interesting information on how we have blown $1-million on our arena financing over the last 12 years.
Who wants to take this up?