Despite a decade of efforts and promises to build the seniors a space in the aging neighbourhood, politicians from different levels of government are still battling over who will foot the bill.
Vancouver city council voted Wednesday to ask the province and the federal government to fork over $2.5 million each to match the city's funding for a 10,000 square-foot centre at the Killarney community centre.
There aren't any community amenity contributions left to use in the area (there's $8 million in an unallocated fund, but it must stay in specific areas), so the city is lobbying the higher level of governments to pay their share.
Seniors applauded the decision to pressure the other governments, but ultimately they don't care how their centre is funded – just that it's finally built.
"The idea of postponing much longer is unconscionable," said Lorna Gibbs of the Southeast Vancouver Seniors Arts and Cultural Centre Society.
"We have a growing senior population, and we're squeezing every which way to try to find programming," she said, her sentiments echoed by longtime community representatives from the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House.
The neighbourhood is home to 27,000 seniors, a number that's expected to grow as the baby boomers enter retirement.
Seniors implored the city not to build a smaller centre if it can only secure a portion of the funding. At issue is a dedicated elevator (they don't want to share the single elevator that only fits two strollers and is jammed as it stands) and a new kitchen to prepare community meals.
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