A Ward 18 Parks Conservancy
( display item 8)
Setup: 18-Jul-2012 
Four Ward 18 parks were operated well, with a great deal of local decision-making, for years (to 2010), staying within budget for the years that we have information. Moreover there was revenue ("cookie money") that was able to be re-invested in the parks and related activities.
The message from management has been fairly consistent: Dufferin Grove in particular costs too much. It's a nice park but we can't afford it. We looked at the cost information for three Ward 18 cost centres: Dufferin Grove, Mary McCormick Community Recreation Centre (CRC) and Wallace-Emerson Community Recreation Centre (CRC). To compare:
In 2011, Wallace-Emerson CRC cost $1,527,174 to run, all in. The actual program costs totalled $622,076, and the administration and maintenance costs totalled $905,098 (including $473,638 for caretakers). Revenue covered only the actual program cost: $620,718. Taxes covered $906,456.
In 2011, McCormick CRC cost $1,117,900 to run, all in. The actual program costs totalled $515,778 and the administration and maintenance costs totalled $602,122 (including $373,943 for caretakers). Revenue covered mainly the direct program cost: $545,769. Taxes covered $572,131.
In 2011, Dufferin Grove totalled $299,278 for the actual program costs, plus some administration and maintenance costs. In addition, the donation revenue covered $71,899.99, also for mixed program/administration/operating costs. So taxes covered $299,278. However, for Dufferin Grove there are also operating costs connected with park maintenance, and there are off-site administration costs. The parks maintenance costs are not available by location, and neither are the administration costs. The only thing we know for sure is that the off-site administration costs must have increased sharply since the removal of local administration by onsite staff.
Once the costs are calculated, the missing element for comparison is usage -- value for money. Here are three census days available for Dufferin Grove:
May 6, 2010: 1441 people (with a three hour gap in the count).
July 30, 2011: 2003 people
July 21, 2012: 1992 people.