Spirit Square money clarified

City clears the air on funding for Spirit Square roof

Time Well Wasted performs at Spirit Square under a tarp which has been used to protect performers from poor weather. A new $60

The city has released an informational report on Spirit Square after public outcry over the city’s use of funding.

When the SPCA left Campbell River because the city awarded its animal control contract to a lower bidder to save money, several SPCA supporters took to Facebook to criticize the city for spending money on Spirit Square. Now the city is clarifying why a glass roof was being put on the downtown gathering place at the same time the SPCA was packing up and vacating the old animal shelter.

“The stage shelter project is funded by $60,000 in surplus funds from the original project,” reads a report on the city’s website. “This funding cannot be re-allocated to a project other than Spirit Square.”

But that was not originally made clear to the public, as was evident on the Mirror’s Facebook page.

One reader posts “Did we ask for a cover, costing $60,000, over the stage at Spirit Square? I think not. This money could have gone to the SPCA instead.”

The cover was considered by the city after organizers were forced to drape temporary tarps over the stage during poor weather.

Spirit Square opened on November 2, 2009 just in time for the Olympic Torch Relay. The square was built downtown for $1.7 million.