Region should help support Pepsi Centre operations: mayor

Cory
Cory Hurley
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Corner Brook Mayor Neville Greeley says it’s time people outside the city help support operating costs of sporting facilities such as the Pepsi Centre.

The idea of regionalization with respect to infrastructure costs is being discussed more frequently throughout the province.

Smaller municipalities are struggling to maintain and upgrade such services, and a shared system is considered the prudent solution. Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador is leading discussions on this issue.

The regional facility, built for the 1999 Canada Winter Games, now costs Corner Brook taxpayers $850,000 annually by way of an operating grant.

Facility serves region

However, as pointed out by the mayor, users of the facility reach far beyond the boundaries of the city.

“If somebody is living in Massey Drive or Steady Brook or Hughes Brook or Mount Moriah, all their children are using that facility, yet the property taxes from those municipalities do not contribute five cents toward the operating grant,” Greeley said.

User groups are bracing for another rental rate hike this September following 10 per cent fee increases in each of the past two years.

According to Greeley, one municipality should not shoulder the financial burden for a regional facility.

The change must begin with a willingness of the neighbouring municipal representatives and their people to meet and discuss a resolve, he said.

An example of this regional sharing takes place in Stephenville, where the Town of Kippens contributes a grant toward the operating costs of the pool.

With an election approaching in the fall, Greeley said this should be a priority for new councils throughout the region.

Loss of tenant hurt

The mayor agrees the Pepsi Centre, managed by Western Sports and Entertainment, took a hit with the loss of its major tenant, the Corner Brook Royals. But he said the costs of operating the facility have continued to climb no matter who managed the facility.

It has been the same struggle to attract entertainers and generate revenue in Corner Brook regardless of who is running the centre, he added.

“This is just one more example of why regionalizing some things makes perfect sense,” Greeley said. “All the infrastructure is currently in place to be able to meet the demands of the users that are there. We just need to equitably distribute the operating costs of that.”

Organizations: Pepsi Centre, Pepsi Centre.The

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Massey Drive Steady Brook Mount Moriah Stephenville Kippens

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Recent comments

  • Corporate Psycho
    August 01, 2013 - 16:56

    Personally I'm fed up with subsidizing everything in CB. Time for that town to sink or swim.

    • david
      August 03, 2013 - 15:54

      What exactly do you 'subsidize' there that has made you so sick? And would this have been going on long before St. John's began gorging on "its" oil wealth, or just since?

    • a business man
      August 04, 2013 - 11:55

      Personally, I would like the town to sink, and sink soon.

  • david
    August 01, 2013 - 07:05

    Newfoundlanders have done this my entire lifetime...move to the outskirts of town to avoid paying taxes and fees. That's the precise reason they do it. Asking them to pay towards these services is like asking a thief to put back his loot. This is who we are.....selfish, anti-social, gimme, gimme, gimme, and BTW what sucker paid for that? IT is pretty ironic though....developers selling "executive homes" in places like Massey Drive to people who are actually living as civic parasites, slowly sucking out the precious little lifeblood left in the city.