Re: "City of Arts, yes, but let's see the grant first," letter to the editor, Wednesday, Sept. 26.
Jason Hulbert's statement regarding the grant application submitted by the arts centre for the Centennial/Appleyard House is filled with suppositions and inaccuracies. For him to state "In the end the totals could top well over $1.5 million" is alarmist at the very least.
The residents of Port Moody need to know that I would not support and, I believe council would not support, spending anywhere near the amounts that Mr. Hulbert is suggesting.
The grant request, which is being submitted by the Arts Centre, is for $481,000. In order for the request to be processed, the federal government requires that the city commit to matching funding. Mr Hulbert's statement - "it would be fiscally irresponsible for the city to pre-approve any amount until the grant application results are known" - demonstrates a lack of understanding of the process.
Typically these types of grant applications do not receive the full amount requested.
Council and the finance committee, of which Mr. Hulbert is a member, are fully aware of this. In fact, the finance committee, at a meeting on Sept. 18, deferred recommendation of a funding source until the announcement of the grant and final costing of the building. Until that time we do not know what our possible commitment will be.
Council will, when the grant amount (if any) is announced, scale back the project to a manageable amount. For example, if we only receive $200,000, then council would have to come up with a matching amount.
Mr. Hulbert is correct in saying that we have already committed $330,000 from the heritage fund. What was not said is that $173,000 of that amount is still unspent. If that amount is still unspent at the time of the grant announcement then the city has in fact only to come up with another $27,000 to meet our commitment. This would make the city's total commitment to the project $357,000, a far cry from the $1.1 million suggested.
Finally I would like to address Mr. Hulbert's statement: "the grant also includes a commitment by the city to cover operating costs to the tune of an estimated $84,000 per year for 10 years."
The figure of $84,000 includes $65,000 for staffing purposes. The city is only required to maintain the building, not provide for staffing. The amount in the proposal commits the city to only $13,000 for annual building maintenance. That is a far cry from $84,000.
Gerry Nuttall Councillor, City of Port Moody