A motion headed to city council Oct. 29 seeks $25,000 for CKLU, Laurentian University's campus radio station that recently moved to downtown Sudbury, into the McEwen School of Architecture.
Student media organizations across the province are facing a financial crunch after the Progressive Conservative government announced in January students would be able to opt out of paying for “non-essential” services, including campus papers and radio stations.
The motion from Ward 5 Coun. Bob Kirwan asks the city to take the money from the tax rate stabilization fund, a reserve set aside to lessen the impact of property tax increases.
The $25,000 would be used by CKLU “to collaborate with downtown businesses or an organization like the Downtown BIA to develop a 'Downtown Sudbury Community Radio Marketing Program,' which will utilize studio and on-site broadcast resources to promote downtown businesses and activities,” Kirwan's motion reads.
Since city council has already made revitalizing downtown Sudbury a strategic priority, Kirwan argues that CKLU and businesses downtown could work together to “promote downtown businesses and activities.”
If approved, the motion also calls for a business case to be prepared for 2020 budget deliberations to make the arrangement an ongoing plan to develop and promote downtown.
In addition to Kirwan's motion, councillors will hear a presentation from Tannys Laughren, who sits on CKLU's board, outlining what the radio station is all about and how it operates.
The request for unbudgeted funds for CKLU is the latest in a series of requests from local non-profit groups asking council for money. The Sudbury Theatre Centre ($200,000) and the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra ($52,000) received emergency bailout funding during the last term, while Theatre Cambrian asked – and was refused – a $150,000 bailout because of concerns over their business plan and debts.
More recently, councillors provided $2.2 million in funding through an interest-free loan to ensure a new men's shelter will be built, after the Canadian Mental Health Association began construction without enough money n place.
And this year, councillors formally approved making the Sudbury Tennis Centre a municipal facility when the centre was faced with an unexpected $48,000 property valuation from MPAC, and the higher than expected tax bill as a result nearly forced the closure of the centre.*
-With files from Canadian Press
*An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the Sudbury Tennis Centre received a tax bill from MPAC. MPAC only assesses property values in Ontario; it does not send out tax bills.