Setting the South Okanagan Events Centre financial facts straight

Facts you should know about costs and management contracts for the SOEC and why this proposed parking fee should never have been considered.

An open letter to James Miller.

Facts you should know about the costs and management contracts for the SOEC and why this proposed parking fee should never have been considered, especially by the councillors who were there when all the decisions were being voted upon, all unanimously I might add.

Point of fact: prior to it being built did you know the city were subsidizing the convention centre close $1 million per year, we are now subsidizing the convention centre, Memorial Arena and the SOEC for $1.2 million per year under Global Spectrum who cannot do their job without the council having their say on what performers we should or shouldn’t have perform for us.

Let the professionals do it, that’s why they were awarded the contract.

Point of fact: Do you realize that if you attend more than three shows a year with the new $10 parking fee, you will be paying more than the tax assessment to build the SOEC, which is probably worth around $70-million as a public asset?

The average home owner is paying $29 per year for the cost of building the SOEC.

I inherited a proposed structure that was estimated at $39 million, that’s the price that went out to referendum.

The inherited proposal did not include all the requirements that were needed to make the building worthwhile.

Also we did not have the $40 million lottery monies commitment when the referendum was passed by 86 per cent of the population.

During the term of construction steel prices almost doubled, likewise other materials were hit with the same inflationary unforeseen increases.

No contractor would have taken on the project under a bid price because of where these material costs were escalating day by day back then.

Check out the Victoria Events Centre, where the contractor walked away from it because the costs were getting out of control?

Please check your facts before throwing out misinformed statements.

I am tired of reading you misinforming the public on what has become (as projected) a great economic boost to the city (recent statements by members of council).

I am guilty of  influencing council to build a building that the city wouldn’t have to tear apart and bring up to date 10 years from when it was opened.

A  lesson I learned from the community centre.

What was the true cost to upgrade that facility?

I understand that several parts of the proposed project were cut to meet the budget (contract price).

The tax subsidy in 2008 to the community centre was at $440,000 annually.

The tax subsidy requisite for the convention centre in 2008 was just under $1 million.  The requisite for Memorial Arena was at $240,000 that same year.

In conclusion, every motion regarding the cost, and increased costs of the project, were passed unanimously by my council.

Why don’t you look into this proposed parking fee a little deeper, what’s it going to cost in bylaw enforcement (overtime costs) to check out the surrounding residential areas to police this dumb decision?

Will council rescind this decision like every other decision they have made during their term in office?

There was never any assessment given as to the cost of infrastructure that had to be diverted/rebuilt to accommodate the SOEC until council and staff got down to the final plan.

Nothing was estimated out for infrastructure prior to my taking office. These costs for sewer, etc. were taken from those appropriate accounts.

The purchase of properties on Eckhardt Avenue, at a cost of $2.2 million, was forced upon the city by the Ministry of Highways. The Ministry of Highways also refused the City of Penticton open access to the centre gate stating that it could only be used on special occasions.

Jake Kimberly