Volunteer time and event sponsorships underpin the city’s decision to forego charging the Port Alberni Toy Run Society (PATRS) a rental fee.
The society will only be charged a cleanup fee, which will likely top out at $200, director of parks and recreation Scott Kenny said.
The matter won’t have to go to a grant in aid process, therefore no motion is required to waive the facility rental, city clerk Davina Sparrow said.
The decision was made at council’s Monday meeting.
The society complained to the city that it had been denied a request for $586 to cover the cost of renting Glenwood Centre for its annual toy run event.
The PATRS contributes $5,000 to several parks and recreation programs such as Starlight Movie Night, Easter Bunny Express, First Night and Our Town.
“They volunteer upwards of 60 hours of volunteer time, which is equal to $1,600 in program staff wages,” Kenny said.
“All that sets them apart from other organizations.”
The cleaning fee should be waived as well, society vice chair David Wiwchar said.
The society already uses the Port Alberni Wrestling Club for setup and takedown during the event for which the club receives a donation.
The city inspects the facility afterward and there is no charge.
“We have a good relationship with the wrestling club that we want to maintain,” Wiwchar said.
But city workers have to go and clean afterward so the cleaning fee is firm, Kenny said.
“The wrestling club does the basic setup and takedown, but we do the spit and polish cleaning afterward.”
City workers also use power-cleaning equipment – like a floor scrubber – that they don’t allow the public to use.
And Parks and Recreation cleans the facility to a standard above which volunteers would.
“They’ll be charged based on the hours it takes to clean the facility,” Kenny said.