The Parksville Community Centre building. (PQB News file photo)

Dispute over community centre kitchen equipment continues in Parksville

Students see foods program interrupted

  • Feb. 1, 2021 12:00 a.m.

A dispute between the Parksville Community Centre Society (PCCS) and the city over kitchen equipment continues.

PCCS president Holly Heppner told the PQB News a letter sent from the City of Parksville’s legal counsel was received by the society’s lawyer on Wednesday, Jan. 27. The letter pertained to city council’s request to return kitchen equipment to the community centre that was removed before the society’s operations agreement with the city expired on Dec. 31, 2020.

The removal of the equipment has affected the lease agreement that Parksville made with School District 69 (Qualicum) for its use by Pass/Woodwinds students for the school’s foods program. Without proper equipment the students cannot continue with the program that allows meals to be provided to hungry students.

The letter, sent out on Jan. 20, asked for a response by Jan. 29, before council would look into other options, replacement of the equipment or otherwise.

READ MORE: Without kitchen equipment, cooking program for Parksville students remains in limbo

As of Thursday Heppner said the PCCS has not had any further conversations with the city and could not comment on their next course of action, or if possible legal actions have been discussed.

“We can also say that the PCCS and its legal team are surprised of [Mayor Ed] Mr. Mayne’s unfounded allegation suggesting there was ever an agreement between the two parties,” said Heppner in an email to PQB News.

“The City of Parksville had only claimed a few items which they had produced invoices for. These items were left behind during the PCCS move… The City of Parksville and the School District 69 entered into an agreement for the Pass/Woodwinds students and staff to continue using the kitchen at the PCC. The PCCS was not included in these negotiations between the city and the school district, nor was the PCCS aware of such an agreement until after the fact. The PCCS cannot be responsible to the commitments the city has made with another organization. The City of Parksville signed the agreement, they own the agreement. We feel it was careless and irresponsible of the City of Parksville and staff to offer equipment which does not belong to the City of Parksville.”

The manager of communications for the city, Deb Tardiff, said the PCCS response will be addressed next week and that they will not address comments made by Heppner at this time.

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