Rossland Radio Co-op (RRC) is hoping the city can help it lower its operating costs by way of reducing the rent they pay to the city.
Representatives of the co-op packed into council chambers to show support at Monday’s council meeting, with Marty Cancilla, director making the case for the decrease in rent.
“Unfortunately, (RRC) is an operation, and our operation costs add up month by month, which makes it difficult to do a lot of other things,” Cancilla said. “Mainly pay for equipment and spend time on the quality of our operation and other aspects.”
He said that as for grant money, it is difficult for an operation such as RRC to secure. They do receive some grant money, but securing the money for the payment of rent is especially difficult for them.
“Basically all of our efforts and all the money that we make are going into paying our rent, our phone book bill, our insurance, our licensing fees with SOCAN and other operational costs,” he said.
The other operational cost they are hoping they can face is hiring some more staff.
“However it’s hard to do,” he said. “Volunteers that sign up at the Rossland Radio Co-op, they would like to work at a radio station and work at a radio show. They don’t want to spend all of their volunteer hours hosting fundraising events and raising cash.”
That cash is then only used to keep the RRC’s head above the water.
Cancilla said the building is now being well-used and is in line with the Official Community Plan.
The RRC shares the building with the Rossland Food Bank and Rossland and District Search and Rescue, neither of which are forced to pay rent, he said.
Cancilla brought up the case of Salmo’s community radio station, which pays only $1 a year for their rent to the city.
“I believe that this is an operation that’s worth subsidizing with some tax dollars,” he said.
The location at 1807 Columbia Avenue is the third location RRC has been at.
“The first location where we started as a little grass-roots non-profit co-operative was on Second at the K2 contracting building,” Cancilla said. At that location they didn’t pay any rent, which he said helped RRC to acquire new equipment and to spend time to recruit volunteers.
The second home of the RRC was the United Church, where they paid based on quarterly operating costs.
That helped as well to allow them to afford new equipment and renovations.
But access and easement problems lead them to seek out their third and current location at the Rotary Health building.
The subject will be discussed in council next meeting.