By Greg Price
Whether or not town council decides to extend the agreement with Sponsorship Connections to June 30, 2016 with no extra cost to the town, it looks like the Taber Recreation Board did not exactly deliver a ringing endorsement to do so.
The board was updated on the progress administration has done tweaking the original agreement which had Sponsorship Connections looking to acquire sponsorship deals on town-owned assets to help offset the rising costs of recreation for families.
Since signing on for Phase 1 of the agreement back for asset inventory and valuation in November 2011 up until current day, Sponsorship Connections $21,200 despite a town investment of nearly $100,000 over tow phases.
Given the lackluster performance, Sponsorship Connections proposed to extend the term of the contract by a year at no extra costs to see if more sponsorship sales could be had.
“What we would look at is Sponsorship Connections focusing on the bigger picture which is where they were originally outside of Taber and the M.D. (regional, provincial, national, multi-national corporations),” said Aline Holmen, recreation manager to recreation board members at its March 5 meeting.
The recreation board made a recommendation to town council it authorize a contract amendment with Sponsorship Connections to extend it term to June 30, 2016 by a 3-1 vote, there was plenty of hesitation in doing so.
“When this motion comes before the rec board, I will be voting against it (at the town council level), because I am not in favour of redoing this contract because Sponsorship Connections should have been focusing their efforts both inside of town and outside of town this entire time. Now all the sudden they are going to be focusing on the bigger fish sort of speak,” said Randy Sparks, town councillor and recreation board member. “I’ve been very disappointed with what has been happening with this. It’s been a very long time now, and even though this says this doesn’t impact anything (financially) by extending it, I think it does.”
Now well past its third year working with Sponsorship Connections, M.D. of Taber councillor and recreation board member Merrill Harris was dismayed a professional company has been only able to raise barely over $20,000 with the agreement.
“Bringing in the newspaper article showing Rocky Mountain House was able to raise $900,000 (without an outside contract) in their community. Sponsorship Connections simply haven’t lived up to their contract,” said Harris. “Do you allow them to go another year to see if they can come up with something? If we give them another year, it’s not costing us anything. We’re just giving the man extra year to see if they can come up with something for the town. On that respect, I would vote in favour for another year.”