Canning digs into own pockets to pay for Rostrata Family Center expansion

A funding problem has forced the city of Canning to dive into its savings to fulfill a million-dollar pledge to expand Willetton’s Rostrata Family Center.

The major upgrade was jeopardized last week after it was revealed the project was ineligible for $1.76 million in federal grants awarded by the municipality in February.

Resolving the funding fiasco was “vital” and as easy as shuffling the books, according to some — but not all — on the council, with the creative accounting plan for Rostrata receiving just six votes to five.


Had it not been adopted, the expansion plan would have left a huge financial hole.

Mayor Patrick Hall had pleaded with councilors to support the plan to instead spend the $1.76 million on better lighting for three athletic fields, then use a combination of a smaller federal grant and city savings to fund the coveted Rostrata. Keep upgrade on schedule.

He said the problem wasn’t that the federal government failed to support funding for the community center upgrade — more that the works couldn’t be completed in time to meet the criteria for grants for local roads and community infrastructure.

“With what’s going on around Ukraine and all the trouble here around finding transactions, we just can’t deliver this project within the time frame needed for the LRCI funding,” Mr. Hall said at the last council’s meeting. Week.

“So the city, knowing that it was the will of the municipality to support this fantastic center fully, has come up with a Plan B to ensure we can make it a reality.”

Deputy Mayor Ben Kunze said the council only spends money it always intended to spend.

“The reality is this is more of an accounting problem, and I think it produces a better result,” he said.

“The Council approved the $1.76 million pledge in February.

“This doesn’t change that. We have not changed anything in that regard.

“The only difference is that we are using municipal funding for Rostrata rather than for lighting projects, which is what we were going to do.

“Several people at the Rostrata Family Center have been working on their expansion for many years. It would be heartbreaking for them to sub to withdraw that funding subsequentlyHardeep Singh, who unsuccessfully called for the grant money to be spent on the street and footpath lighting instead, disagreed. He said the $900,000 of the council’s reserve funds should not be touched.

And the ovals selected to receive lighting upgrades under the agreement infuriated Cr Craig Sweeney, who said locations without lighting deserved priority.

“Ranford Oval has no lighting, no storage, several sports clubs share toilets to store equipment, and the clubs are only allowed to use the ground for one to two hours at night because there are no lights,” he said.

“Parents take their kids away from their friends to join clubs in Gosnells. Some children miss it completely because their parents don’t have time to take them to other congregations to play sports.

“Why would the money go to clubs with lights that already work? It is ridiculous.

“We must not discriminate against clubs. What message does that send? Are Willetton and Riverton’s children more important than Canning Vale’s children?

‘If you had four children and three have shoes, and one does not, then you don’t buy new shoes for the three children who have shoes. Or do you spend the money on a child who has no shoes?

“If your kids are at a sports club and that sports club already has lights on their floor for training, then you’re very lucky.”

Cr Amanda Spencer-Teo said the council had committed to the Rostrata upgrade it should keep.

“It’s a big sum of money, and it’s from Rostrata, and it’s that simple,” she said.

“They deserve the dedication to keep their project going.”

John D.Mayne
I love to write. When I wasn’t writing for my school newspaper or college blog, I was writing personal essays and journal entries. Then I discovered I loved to write. In college, I wrote for my school paper and my campus radio show. I started doing freelance writing for the Huffington Post in 2009. Then, I joined the team at Newsmyth as a writer/editor. Now, I spend most of my time writing for Newsmyth and as a guest blogger on a handful of other blogs. When I’m not writing, I like to read, travel, cook, and spend time with friends.