But is there the political will to save Springwater Park by the County of Simcoe, Springwater Township, Jim Wilson and the City of Barrie?
Every institution plans for unexpected expenditures. I was a budget analyst with Victoria Hospital in London, ON for 4.5 years in the late 1980s: $350 million annual operating budget and 1,300 FTEs. In 2011, the County of Simcoe budget was $345.4 million, with an operating surplus of $9.6 million.
As we wait for the plan from the county, township and Jim Wilson to be worked out with the Ministry of Natural Resources, it appears lack of cash or ability to finance at extremely low interest rates is NOT the problem. As a matter of fact, there appears to be at least +$14.8 million available immediately to “rescue” the 107 year old park
As stated in in their own documents (click here) and assuming 0% contribution by township, city or MNR…
…the County of Simcoe could keep Springwater Provincial Park open and operational for 148.6 years…
…IF they wanted to. *
The economic capacity to handle underwriting a transition to a sustainable day use park with all the animals is clearly there.
A good faith business plan would put to rest the rumour that the +600 hectares of Springwater Park, CPR, county and forest lands are simply being carved up by the province, county, township and city politicians and public servants for their own institutional and future employers’ building needs. Please note the Land Use plan passed by the county along Highway 26: see Institutional/Government in blue.
* This assumes a very worst-case scenario of $100,000 annual operating loss: a situation that has never happened in 90 years of operation. Any capital needs could be handled very easily by amortizing the construction costs within their annual budgets over the expected life of the asset: a routine accounting process in private corporations or co-operatives.