The new table tennis table at the Humboldt Plaza has some taxpayers concerned. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Taxpayers question cost of new public ping pong table in Humboldt Plaza

The Grumpy Taxpayer$ believe the funds could have been used elsewhere

A new city installation at the corner of Humboldt and Douglas streets has some taxpayers asking questions.

A ping pong table was installed at the new Humboldt Plaza on Thursday, just in time for the official opening of the complete Wharf Street bike lanes.

The table is flanked by artistic benches, the two-way bike lanes and a sidewalk.

“Most taxpayers think any city financial contribution would be better spent fixing resurfacing roads or funding the police department,” said Stan Bartlett, chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria, a municipal spending watchdog. “For others, it’s symptomatic of a council that has lost its way and when money is no object this is what you get.”

ALSO READ: Final leg of Wharf Street bike lanes, Humboldt Street plaza set to open

The table comes from a French producer, Cornilleau, with identical-looking tables selling online for $5,000. This prompted the Grumpy Taxpayer$ to question what additional costs tied to taxes, shipping and installation could be.

“When you have unlimited tax dollars there’s no issue,” Bartlett said, “The city has done a tremendous job on that intersection; they blocked off one street and should be commended for that, but as far as a ping pong table, holy smokes.”

The Grumpy Taxpayer$ likened this investment to others including the musical staircase at the Bastion Square Parkade, or the phone-charging bench in Cook Street Village.

ALSO READ: Next phases of Victoria bike lanes coming up for discussion

“These kinds of things are cute, but practicality and logistics are important,” Bartlett said.

The City of Victoria told Black Press that purchasing the table, including taxes and delivery, totalled $5,150.

The Humboldt Plaza was the focus of the Douglas/Humboldt engagement process, which the City says involved 17 meetings with key stakeholders, four meetings with community associations, one public open house, and 1,395 survey responses in which a ping pong table was presented as an option.

Paddles and ping pong balls are still being purchased and distributed, and will be given to local businesses and schools shortly.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

MISSING: Victoria man Cameron Johnston

VicPD are looking for a missing 36-year-old man

Four charges approved in Saanich hit and run that left woman in coma

‘This was a significant crash that caused serious injuries,’ say police

Massive plaza, residential and retail project coming to Esquimalt

The Esquimalt Town Centre set to sell its first units in October

Night Shift Halloween tickets on sale now

Royal BC Museum’s adult-only costume event expected to sell out quickly

VIDEO: B.C.’s famous cat Grandpa Mason has died

The story of the feral cat that started fostering kittens touched people around the world

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many of the protesters were children and youth who skipped school to take part in the demonstrations.

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

B.C. man guilty of first-degree murder in Yukon killing

Edward James Penner, 22, was given the mandatory life sentence for the 2017 slaying of 25-year-old Adam Cormack

Woman stabbed at least five times in Nelson during random attack

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

Most Read