KUTE rent increase sees group looking to District for support

Kitimat's recycling organization is asking for money from the District to cover a drastic rent increase at their depot.

Once again KUTE (Kitimat Understanding the Environment) is faced with a financial crunch which had them seeking support from council.

With their lease up for renewal, the recycling organization is faced with their rent for their recycling warehouse in the Service Centre rising by over $2,000 a month.

Right now they pay $1,656 plus tax, which is rising to $3,800.

It’s a drastic increase which put their operation in jeopardy.

The change is also very sudden. KUTE President Barb Hall said that they only learned how much their rent was increasing about three weeks ago.

Hall said she needs assurances from the District that they can increase their subsidy to the organization to cover the additional costs.

The boost would be in addition to other possible monies the group may ask for in upcoming budget discussions.

“I don’t feel comfortable signing a lease with that much of an increase without some assurance that we’ll be okay,” she told councillors at the November 25 Committee of the Whole meeting.

Cutting labour is the only other way the society can see to make up the difference in their rent. The increase equals 173 work hours, more than a single full-time employee. Alternately it could mean a 49 hour per month reduction in the depot’s hours.

The new lease would be for three years.

Councillors referred the matter to their next regular council meeting where they will expect a report from staff on the matter and to likely make a decision on whether or not to provide the extra money.