One of the candidates for mayor in Steinbach has suggested there is something amiss with the city's reserve fund for recreation. During Tuesday's election forum, in a discussion about a multiplex, it was noted that city council has placed close to $7 million in the fund since 2012 but that the current balance is only $2.5 million.
Troy Warkentin, the city's Chief Administrative Officer, says city council never intended the fund to be used for any single project and has used the fund for various recreation facilities.
"The reserve has been set up to fund a number of different recreation initiatives that city council has chosen to undertake. Total spending from the reserve has been just over $4.5 million over the past six years or so. The development of the curling rink was obviously the greatest beneficiary of those funds, about $3.25 million in total. But, over the years, city council has also authorized spending from that reserve fund for other projects, for example, the Performing Arts Centre design fees and land assembly, also for the splash park downtown, the change room facility at the soccer park and a couple of other smaller projects over that time."
Warkentin notes city council had intended the curling club to be the start of something bigger in that area.
"City council, a number of years ago, had approved the use of some of the funds within that reserve to help pay for the costs of the curling rink, which was intended to be phase one of a broader development downtown."
The plans for that broader development downtown have been set aside by council in recent years.
Warkentin adds there has been full public disclosure of all of these expenditures over the years as they have been clearly identified in the city's annual budget process and in the city's annual financial statements.