Terrace institutions pitch for budget money

The library and the Heritage Park Museum want their annual operating grants increased

The Terrace and District Museum Society

Four of Terrace’s key public institutions recently made pitches to city council and local directors of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine for 2015 operating grants.

The city will now consider their requests for the 2015 budget to be finalized in the early spring.

The regional district also contributes to institutions according to a fee based on the population.

In asking for the same amount received last year – $120,000 – Kermode Tourism Society manager Tyler Clarke said it will continue to support tourism, produce its annual travel guide, promote seasonal events such as December’s Festival of Lights and take part in out-of-town programs to promote the area.

He also said the tourism society is currently looking to rent out space in their headquarters on Hwy16 that was once occupied by the Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce.

The society once benefitted from a two per cent hotel room tax but Clarke said a survey of hotels and motels last year came up short of the 51 per cent participation needed for it to be revived.

The Terrace Public Library is asking for $615,173, a three per cent increase with head librarian David Tremblay saying part of the hike is to finance a wage boost for workers under their Canadian Union of Public Employees contract.

Tremblay said book fines have been trailing off as has revenue from the sale of surplus books and other material while general expenses are on the rise.

Tremblay illustrated the impaortance of the library by showing various figures including 127,119 visits in 2014 and 278,082 check-outs through online and hard copy circulations.

The Terrace Economic Development Authority is asking for $165,000, the same as last year. President Rob Dykman said the organization will continue to build connections with businesses interested in coming to the region and to print its annual business service directory.

Annalee Davis of the Terrace and District Museum Society and curator Kelsey Wiebe rounded out the presentations, asking for $110,573, which is an approximately 11 per cent rise from last year for the Heritage Park Museum.

The money will partly go toward hiring an archiving assistant to keep up with rising demand for historical documents and also to provide the curator with a 2 per cent raise this year and 1.5 per cent next year.

Heritage Park last year attracted 5,000 visitors to events, said Wiebe. It hosts Canada Day and Hallowe’en activities and other various camps and events.

At the Terrace budget meeting Regional District Director for Area E Ted Ramsey said the regional district is still considering whether it will be able to fund the increased budget for the Heritage Park Museum.

He said that he is trying to “hold the line” on the 2015 budget and that he is in discussions about whether they will be able to commit to the operational grant hike for the museum.

This article was changed to reflect that Annalee Davis is not the president of the Terrace and District Museum Society. Grant Pilfer is the president.