The closure of Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich in mid-March caused projected revenues from fees by $2.5 million. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

The closure of Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich in mid-March caused projected revenues from fees by $2.5 million. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Peninsula Recreation Commission 2021 budget reflects dropped revenues this year

COVID-19 forced commission to reduces projected revenues by $2.5 million

The Peninsula Recreation Commission approved its 2021 budget that shows projected revenues with fees down some $2.5 million.

The 2021 budget includes an increase of 3.6 per cent ($181,374) from the amended 2020 budget to cover additional costs related in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. The overall proposed operating budget for 2021 is $7.9 million, reflecting reduced capacity.

Coun. Heather Gartshore, North Saanich’s council liaison and vice chair of the Peninsula Recreation Commission that governs the Panorama Recreation Centre, said the increase reflects changing costs. North Saanich Mayor Geoff Orr also sits on the commission, a partnership between municipalities of Sidney, North Saanich, and Central Saanich.

“In 2020, we were shut down completely for two months, and then there has been a phased, gradual re-opening,” said Gartshore. “So it represents contractual wage increases, bringing staff back and so on.”

In July, the commission amended the 2020 financial plan to $413,562 to reflect the forecasted deficit caused by COVID-19 closures and phased re-opening, while also re-affirming the centre’s fee structure to limit the deficit. The facility reopened on May 26 after closing March 17.

RELATED: Pool at Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich to reopen in September

Looking at the bigger picture, the commission had planned for an operating budget of $9.7 million for 2020 before the start of the pandemic, said Lisa Sneek, marketing coordinator for Panorama Recreation Centre.

Following the pandemic-related closures, the commission introduced ongoing cuts in programming for the majority of 2020.

Projected expenses are expected to drop by $2 million because of variable costs (such as labour among others) while projected revenues from fees are expected to drop by $2.5 million from the original projected figure of $4.7 million, because of the spring closure and cuts in allowable capacity and user activity related to health restrictions from March onward.

Sneek said reduced costs could not entirely off-set reduced revenues with some staff and facility supplies still required to meet demand.

Overall, projected revenues for 2020 are down to $2.2 million. Overall revenue comes from fee revenue and requisition revenue, with requisition revenue not having changed this year.

The public heard earlier this summer from Gartshore that the projected financial figures for 2020 (as amended) were on track with a strategic review planned for 2021. She also previously praised staff for re-opening the facility and ensuring the safety of users.


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