The Williams Lake Field Naturalists will be presenting their case as to why the City of Williams Lake should not reject a fee for service for the Scout Island Nature Centre at Tuesday’s regular Council meeting.
President Fred McMechan who oversees operations at the Centre says he hopes that the community will support the Centre and that Council will see the valuable programs they provide to the community.
“If we have a cut back in funds, then maybe we’re going to have to cut back on the number of university students-local ones generally that can work down there. Or cut back on the amount of time that we have the nature house open for tourists and local visitors.”
McMechan says they were very disappointed with a 3-2 decision at a Committee of the Whole Council on January 31 to deny the Centre a fee for service agreement in the amount of $12,500.
He says this is the first time that a Council has considered denying the Scout Island Nature Centre a fee for service, and that the $12,500 a year represents 15% of the staffing costs.
The Field Naturalists estimate that it costs on average each year of $150,000 with 3600 hours of volunteer time valued at an additional $95,000 to keep the Nature Centre open to the public and provide the many nature programs.