Thunder Bay – Council Hesitates On Indoor Sports Facility Funding

Council hesitates on indoor sports facility funding

Thunder Bay city council has allocated around $12 million for a proposed new multi-use indoor sports facility – but not without some second thoughts.

Mayor Bill Mauro on Monday brought a motion to move millions from various sources into the indoor turf facility reserve fund. That included $6.9 million from federal gas tax funds, around $3 million in municipal accommodation tax dollars from future years, and over $3 million from reserve funds.

Mauro acknowledged the city’s financial challenges, but argued the Chapples Park project is a worthwhile investment. He also noted the city had run an operating surplus last year. He was supported by councillors Foulds, Ruberto, and Ch’ng, who said the facility could help keep young professionals in the city.- tbnewswatch

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Interesting that Mayor Mauro needed to do this before deliberations began on the 2020 city budget.  What he has done is taken $12 million out of the fiscal pool where next years city budgets funding will come BEFORE anyone knws what the 2020 operating costs are going to be.  All with no commitment to actually ever go ahead with the project.

Will senior levels of government come up with the additional $30 million?  (Remember when the who project only cost $30 million?) Thunder Bay is also asking the province for funding assistance for its police services.

I still maintain that any gas tax money the city receives should be directed to fund public tra nsit improvements and expanding cycle/rec trail infrastructure.  Taking vehicles off of the road so to speak. Young professionals might like that.

I wonder just who is pulling the strings on this indoor turf facility?  This “highest priority” project seems to have come out of nowhere.  For some reason, the turf facility is the project that will stop the city’s decent into Shitsville status?

The private sector wanted to build a facility covered by a bubble, all privately funded. Of course, as is always the case, City Admin threw roadblocks to halt that project.

Want to keep young professionals here?  A city that is going to named Murder Capital of Canada for its fourth straight year and seven years out of the last 10 years, high violent crime rate, social issues up the wazoo, a 52 km waterfront that is an industrial wasteland and owner of a crumbling infrastructure system?  Seriously?

Maybe do something about some of those issues?  Maybe tell the City Hall bureaucracy to get out of the way of private development?

Taxes have to increase a lot in order to pay for everything this city needs let alone wants.  Higher taxes means fewer dollars available to be spent in cafes, restaurants and shops.

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