VANCOUVER Killarney community members are concerned they won't have as much money as they need to build a suitable seniors centre after the city indicated it will take back $1.2 million in funding.
The city promised the extra cash (on top of $2.5 million and property) in February in absence of funding from the province, but the need for that money was eliminated when the province made a $1.2 million contribution in March (on top of $1.3 million it previously made), according to a memo sent last week by city manager Penny Ballem.
But this "claw back" worries seniors who want to ensure the centre has a kitchen and is large enough to meet growing demand in years to come, said Ainslie Kwan of the Killarney Community Centre Society.
"Why not build the best possible centre we can, and if there's extra funds at the end they go back to the city," Kwan said in an interview.
But the city believes it can build a complete centre with a separate kitchen within the total funding envelope of $7.5 million (the federal government also gave $2.5 million), Coun. Raymond Louie said in response to the memo.
"This is good news for taxpayers," Louie said. If additional resources are necessary to build the centre, Louie will work to make them available, he added.
Still, seniors in the community are forming a building committee to ensure their needs are included in the preliminary design build, Kwan said. They will ask the city for a seat at the table.
The city is hiring a "bridging consultant" to consult with the seniors, Louie said.
"I have confidence that their points will be heard."
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