Maple Ridge council opts for a city-run Albion Community Centre

Maple Ridge council opts for a city-run Albion Community Centre

Unanimous vote on Tuesday

Maple Ridge council voted unanimously Tuesday to keep the new Albion Community Centre a city-run facility. Council considered a staff report that gave council a choice between that or asking for proposals for an outside agency to run the new centre. Staff in a Feb. 25 council report though said a city-run facility would give more control.

“I’m happy to support Option A, to keep the facility run by the city service model,” said Coun. Ryan Svendsen.

He said as a 26-year-resident of Maple Ridge, first as a youth and then as a parent, that recreation services have been “amazing” adding that he’s never wanted an outside agency to run the centre nor did he get the impression that other residents did either.

Read more: Maple Ridge council looks at Albion community centre

The Canadian Union of Public Employees has been campaigning for municipal operation of the facility and claiming the city in 2017 was considering contracting out the operation to the YMCA and had not followed proper bidding procedures, citing internal e-mails.

However, Mayor Mike Morden said earlier that was all done by the previous council and seemed to consist of preliminary discussions only.

Read more: Union claims Maple Ridge wants to contract out operation of new Albion Community Centre

Coun. Chelsa Meadus said she’s been trying to understand the issue since she was elected in 2018 and trying to understand the previous council’s thinking, adding that the union was able to get information she wasn’t able to.

“I apologize to the union for the length of time it took to get here,” she said of the staff report.

“I apologize to all the citizens who wrote … about outsourcing,” she added.

Meadus also mentioned the several awards that city-run facilities have received and testimonies from adults who were helped by the Greg Moore Youth Centre. “To consider anyone else as an operator for the Albion Community Centre just doesn’t make sense for me.”

Coun. Judy Dueck said that she should have spoken out earlier that she supported a city-run facility, adding she was waiting for more information. “We now have the complete picture. It re-affirms how I felt a year ago,” Dueck said.

The amount of support public support via e-mails for a city-run facility, along with the information provided in the report, led Coun. Ahmed Yousef to support that option. “Of course, it plays a large part in our decision making.”

Contracting out the operation was just an option to consider but Yousef wanted to get as much information as possible before making a decision.

“Now knowing what I know and having the input from the community, of course it makes sense to go with the staff-run facility versus going with a third party,” Yousef said. “Now, we’re just looking forward to cutting the ribbon.”

Morden added that council has always been supportive of an open procurement process.

The Feb. 25 staff report said that in 2018, council had asked staff to do a request for expressions of interest for operating the facility. However, council also asked staff during this year’s business planning to research how the city could operate the centre itself – before deciding whether to issue an request for outside proposals.

The report said that if the city operates the centre, it will make it easier for people to register for using other facilities. A city operated model also would be open seven days a week, and provide low-barrier wellness and fitness classes and programming for day camps, as well as first-aid courses, babysitting courses and parent/child activities., said the report, It could also offer rental space for non-profit groups and arts and sports groups.

“Council may choose to operate this new facility directly, which staff believe would provide a higher level of control of the facility maintenance and the services provided,” said the report.

A city-run facility could cost about $653,000 to operate each year.

The centre opens some time next year next to the new cusuenela elementary on 104th Avenue.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y Village at a federal flood funding announcement April 24, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress file)
Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy

All Nations Chiefs from the Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets holding online forum Dec. 2

Capri Bakery Bistro’s Daneile Atte is hoping the economic bounce-back from the COVID-19 slow down comes soon. (Ronan O’Doherty/The News)
Signs of hope for local economic recovery from COVID-19

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows stakeholders discuss the road back to normalcy for local businesses

The numbers of COVID-19 exposures continue to climb at Maple Ridge schools. (Pixabay)
‘The anxiety is pretty high,’ says Teachers Association president

There have been eight COVID-19 exposures at Maple Ridge schools in the past two weeks

Heather Walker, development coordinator at Community Services, is hoping the community will support their annual auction. (Community Services/Special to The News)
Largest auction fundraiser for Maple Ridge charity moved online

More than 100 items to bid on to support Community Services

Locally the Starfish Pack program currently delivers 125 backpacks to 15 schools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. (The News/files)
Christmas plants to benefit hungry children in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Meadow Ridge Rotary Christmas Plant sale to raise money for the Starfish Backpack Program

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
COVID-19 tickets: No, RCMP aren’t checking vehicle occupancies, restaurant tables

Enforcement about education, not punishment says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

Most Read