The Keystone Centre’s funding request for $1 million annually for the next five years was denied by city council at Monday’s meeting.
The funds were requested to deal with capital needs and maintain the facility.
“It is disappointing, but … we’re certainly aware that the city and the province are both under a lot of pressure to try to fund a variety of projects,” said Keystone Centre general manger Neil Thomson. “We, of course, think that investments into the Keystone make a good economic return for the city and for the province.”
Thomson said the Keystone has been funded historically on a project-by-project basis, and this request was an effort to create a more consistent funding model.
“I’d almost describe it as a repair and maintenance capital,” Thomson said.
The city outlined its current commitments to the Keystone, and councillors agreed that there are other funding opportunities for the facility to look to.
Currently, the city provides $250,000 for operating and $125,000 for debt reduction annually to the Keystone Centre. Matching payments are made by the province.
In 2013, the city provided an additional $191,000, which is payment for the duration of the 99-year land lease between the Keystone Centre and Canad Inns. Capital contributions resulting in annual debt payments for the city include $3.8 million for 2009 Memorial Cup upgrades (annual debt payments are $373,000; expires 2023).
The city also provided $1.09 million for capital upgrades in 2013 (annual debt payment $127,500; expires in 2022).
For the Keystone’s 2014 roof repairs, the city’s contribution is $2 million. Annual debt payment estimated at $202,500, to expire in 2029.
The total annual expense by the city related to the Keystone is $1.2 million.