General Purposes Committee Meeting Minutes - November 20, 2003



General Purposes Committee





Thursday, November 20th, 2003


Anderson Room
Richmond City Hall


Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, Chair
Councillor Linda Barnes  (5:20 p.m.)
Councillor Derek Dang
Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt
Councillor Rob Howard
Councillor Kiichi Kumagai
Councillor Bill McNulty
Councillor Harold Steves


Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.










Tall Ships 2005
(Report:  Nov. 19/03, File No.:  7400-20-TALL1) (REDMS No. 1091362)



The Director, Parks Operations, Dave Semple, advised that he had nothing further to add to the report.



Discussion then ensued among Committee members and staff on:




the provision of in-kind services




whether the venue should be open or closed, the impact which a closure of the venue could have on the Steveston Town Centre, and whether local businesses should be consulted about a possible closed venue




whether the Steveston Harbour Authority (SHA) would allow the docks to be used and the need to address the concerns of the SHA with respect to the displacement of fishing boats during the event




the contract services which would have to be paid for by the City, including ambulance service; insurance costs; garbage collection (marine waste); communications equipment; fireboat; dredging and the site permit




how the in-kind contributions could be controlled.



(Cllr. Barnes entered the meeting 5:20 p.m.).



Ms. Janice Podmore, Acting Chair of the Richmond Tall Ships Festival Society, introduced Mr. Richard Chappell, Mr. Barry Coulson and Captain Tom Corsie to the Committee.  Ms. Podmore then addressed the Committee on the Richmond Tall Ship Challenge 2005.  A copy of her submission is attached as Schedule A and forms part of these minutes.  Attached as Schedule B to the minutes is material referred to by Ms. Podmore during her presentation regarding the holding of a Tall Ships event in Chicago, Illinois in 2003.



Captain Corsie spoke about the need for ambulance service and insurance costs, and stated that the Society was looking to the City to take liability for the provision of ambulance services and security in the event something unexpected arose.



Richard Chappel addressed the issue of ship recruitment, advising that there were many ships waiting in the wings.  He added that the Society was concerned that time was running out for a decision on whether to proceed with the event, and that the in-kind contributions were a necessary part of the event.



Barry Coulson, Chartered Accountant, referred to the business plan and explained that the plan was not a negotiation tool and reflected the Societys expectation of expenses and revenues.  He referred to the request for funding and suggested that the City might want to consider a cash contribution rather than an outright grant.  Mr. Coulson concluded by indicating that the business plan called for $200,000 in revenue and City expenses.



Ms. Podmore continued with the presentation, advising that the Society had been in constant touch with those sponsors who had contributed significant amounts of funding for the 2002 event.  She stated that they were aware of the concerns of the City, however they still wanted to be involved in an event which they thought was going to be one of the most successful.  Ms. Podmore added that they were awaiting a decision from the City on whether the event was going to proceed.



Ms. Podmore then introduced Rya Kava, a member of the Board of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, who had also been involved in Tall Ships events in the east.  Ms. Kava spoke about the measurable and immeasurable benefits of hosting the Tall Ships Challenge, such as an increase in tourism resulting from return visits from visitors after the event was over.



Discussion then ensued among the Committee members, the delegation and staff, during which in response to questions, the following information was provided:




the Society was requesting that the City provide a $350,000 in-kind contribution and $150,000 in cash, either as a loan or through a line of credit (the cash contribution did not necessarily have to be a donation), and endorsement from the City for the event




the budget for the event indicated that the Society would have a profit of approximately $220,000, which would be used to repay the City for the loan; however the Society was hoping that the loan would be a forgivable loan; it was the Societys intention to repay the entire loan but the suggestion was made that there should be a system of checks and balances on the part of the City to ensure that the Society is endeavouring to meet its obligations




the Society did not intend to keep any profit resulting from the Tall Ships 2005 event the funds would either be returned to the City or donated to a charity




the Society would like the City to assume responsibility for the provision of an ambulance service and for any extraordinary circumstances which might arise




the budget for the 2005 Tall Ships event was in part, based on the expenses incurred for the 2002 event




the Society would be unable to undertake the event for a cash contribution from the City of either $250,000 or $350,000




the Society intended to use skilled volunteers and private security companies to provide security within that portion of Garry Point Park which had restricted access, and the police would be used to provide security outside of the park for traffic management, etc.



The delegation was thanked for their presentation, and they then left the table.  Discussion then ensued among Committee members and staff on:




the financial contributions, both in-kind and cash, being requested of the City by the Society and the impact which provision of the requested amounts could have on the 2005 budget process




the next steps to be taken if the Committee could not agree with the amount requested by the Society




the need to protect the City's initial investment made with the holding of the 2002 Tall Ships event




whether an event could be undertaken with less in-kind and cash contributions than was being requested by the Society




whether Richmond would lose the festival to another community which was interested in holding the event.



During the discussion, Committee members expressed support for the event, but voiced concern about the amount of the requests made by the Society.  Reference was made to the 2002 event and to the financial contribution of the City, and concern was expressed about the impact which the upcoming event could have on future budgets.  Support was given for a repayable loan, but only if the loan was not forgiven.



(Cllr. Dang left the meeting at 6:00 p.m., and did not return.)



Discussion continued on the feasibility of providing a loan to the Society, which made the funding slightly more acceptable to some Committee members, however, an opinion was also expressed that the City should not enter into such a loan.  The suggestion was also made that the City should be approaching the Provincial Government and asking for an in-kind contribution with respect to the provision of ambulance services.  Also addressed during the discussion, were the benefits to the City of holding the 2005 Tall Ships event which some felt were far-reaching and long-standing.  However, concern was expressed about the scale of the event and the comment was made that the event should be downsized.  Included in the discussion was whether the City should contribute any more than $250,000 in total for the event.



Comments were made during the discussion about the proposed budget for the 2005 event, with concern being expressed that (i) the amounts estimated for expenses, especially for dredging, were too conservative; (ii) the SHA had not yet agreed to providing the dock space for the ships; and (iii) other cities had indicated that they would be holding events during the same time period as the Richmond event.



In concluding the discussion, Mayor Brodie advised that he was very proud of the Committees hard work in undertaking the 2002 event, and that he had no qualms about what could be accomplished in the future.  He spoke about the need to be realistic because of the number of communities which intended to hold similar events at the same time as the Richmond festival, which could reduce the number of people attending the City event.  As well, the Mayor noted that the Provincial Government had provided no funds and the funds received from the Federal Government had been less than expected for the 2002 event.  He suggested during his remarks that consideration should be given to putting on a smaller, more affordable event.  Mayor Brodie also advised that he had spoken to Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt, who had indicated to him that she would not support any contribution of more than $250,000 in-kind.



As a result of the discussion, the following motion was introduced:




It was moved and seconded



That the Richmond Tall Ships Festival Society be advised that:




the funding level requested cannot be met; and




further discussions with the Society regarding the Tall Ships 2005 event were being discontinued; and further,



That the Society be thanked for its efforts.






OPPOSED:  Cllr. Barnes
S. Halsey-Brandt




It was moved and seconded



That discussions be continued with the Richmond Tall Ships Festival Society regarding options for the $150,000 repayable loan and $350,000 in-kind contribution.






OPPOSED:  Mayor Brodie
Cllr. Howard




It was moved and seconded



That the Business Plan Richmond Tall Ships Challenge be referred to staff to meet with the Richmond Tall Ships Festival Society to determine what could be accomplished to a maximum of $250,000.







It was moved and seconded



That the Business Plan Richmond Tall Ships Challenge be referred to staff for discussion with the Richmond Tall Ships Festival Society as to whether the Society could produce an event based on a total City in-kind contribution of $350,000, without any cash.






OPPOSED:  Cllr. Kumagai








It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (6:20 p.m.).








Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Thursday, November 20th, 2003.



Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie

Fran J. Ashton
Executive Assistant, City Clerks Office



07.16.04 14:36