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2014-08-12 at 09:15

Councillor wants golf course sale proceeds put back into parks

Municipal Golf Course was closed after last summer and put up for sale.
Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
Municipal Golf Course was closed after last summer and put up for sale.
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By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

Coun. Iain Angus says if the Thunder Bay had to sell Municipal Golf Course, at the very least it should reinvest the $650,000 purchase price into existing city owned parks.

Angus put the challenge out to fellow councilors on Tuesday, a day after the sale to Bruno’s Contracting Limited was made public. It was one of four expressions of interest entertained by the city after closing the course after the 2013 golf season.

Angus said he plans to bring the matter forward on Aug. 25, the next scheduled city council meeting.

In a release, he said that under the city’s 18-year-old land development policy, all proceeds from the sale of park lands are to go into the land development fund and used for either land acquisition or development.

“Given the importance of maintaining a healthy inventory of parkland to meet the physical and psychological needs of the community, it is inappropriate to see existing park and recreation land sold and have the funds used for other forms of development,” Angus said.

He added that while administration is looking into the extent of the deficit in funding for park and recreational land, it is clear the decline is “significant.”

Tbnewswatch.com(34)

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Comments

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countrygirl18 says:
It would be nice to see a splash pad added to the Rosslyn Road/Neebing area. There are a lot of children in the area and since it is about 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the city it could be beneficial.
8/12/2014 9:26:19 AM
jonthunder says:
This would be tantamount to rewriting the city budget by the idea of one single councillor, ignore other priories, and set a very dangerous precedent. The money should go into a consolidated revenue fund to meet the general and more urgent needs of the city. Bad idea counsellor!
8/12/2014 9:39:32 AM
spazz says:
"In a release, he said that under the city’s 18-year-old land development policy, all proceeds from the sale of park lands are to go into the land development fund and used for either land acquisition or development."

@jonthunder I'm just curious how he is rewriting the city budget all by himself? It seems pretty reasonable to me.
8/12/2014 2:04:58 PM
anvil of crom says:
jon.....a dangerous precedent ? see a doctor ASAP your knee has jerked right out of its socket! but don't walk call a cab-buhhhh.
8/12/2014 6:17:39 PM
Bluejaysfan says:
I would love to see the city re-invest some of this money into the city's baseball/softball diamonds and soccer fields. There are thousands of citizens who play in organized recreational leagues around town and who pay substantial league fees to help with field maintenance. These fields are quite dangerous to play on and some repairs are long overdue so here's hoping the city can do some good here...
8/12/2014 9:58:01 AM
smartguy83 says:
Most people will find your comment Ludacris but there actually is a significant amount of adults playing these sports. I am biases as I play both, but the fields are run down and are actually an embarrassment.
8/12/2014 10:30:37 AM
optimist says:
How about putting some of those funds into repairing the back stop of the junior/senior field at the Balsam Pit? The Pit is rich with history and it is shamefull the way it is ignored by the City.
8/12/2014 10:21:05 AM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:
why didn't the city sub-divide the property themselves? Im sure it would have been worth a lot more that way to the city.
8/12/2014 10:23:43 AM
conker2014 says:
Do you think that Oliver Papoonge would allow another municipal government to subdivide land within their community? Plus the city is not in the business of selling small plots of land. They want to make one sale and let developers do all the work and take on all the risk.
8/12/2014 10:36:31 AM
BetterThunderBay says:
The map I have shows that the property is outside city limits. I'd imagine that they can sell the land if they own it, but to make amendments like subdividing, it would have to go through Oliver Paipoonge. It's an interesting case.
8/12/2014 11:47:23 AM
virtualrealityczech says:
It would be nice if the City finished ALL jobs they start in a timely fashion. How long did it take to finish the County Park Splash Pad. Now North End Rec Centre has some gravel pathways... and that's it. Nothing else has been done since the tennis courts were removed.
8/12/2014 10:31:58 AM
AndersonSilvasLeg says:
Since we're all demanding things we would want to see...

how about putting this towards the new events centre?

*don't hurt me*
8/12/2014 11:03:34 AM
drdolittle says:
What he really meant was invest more funds in Chippewa Park.
8/12/2014 11:14:05 AM
Ed itw says:
How about we pay down our debit!
8/12/2014 12:21:20 PM
moonpie says:
How about some dog parks that can actually be defined as "parks". A chunk of land, some chain link fence, mowing and garbage pick up a couple times a month, its the cheapest of all the suggestion mentioned here so far.
8/12/2014 12:45:56 PM
eventscentre says:
What we really should do is put this money into improving Boulevard Lake. We've let the place go over the last two decades and it could use a good face lift. I'd like to see two arcs placed over the road, one at each entrance-from Algoma and Hudson. "Welcome to Boulevard Lake-Jewel of the North Core".
8/12/2014 1:17:17 PM
RicknB says:
Centennial Park has been neglected for a long time!
8/12/2014 1:25:02 PM
tbay87 says:
Given that the primary motivation with selling was to stop losing money each year, putting the "bonus" money from the sale back into parks & recreation isn't a crazy idea.

Parks & rec is an interesting area of municipal government because it's easy to say it's not an essential service, yet it's one of the most important things a city can do to make the city attractive and livable.
8/12/2014 1:38:15 PM
Dockboy says:
Strathcona golf course would be my choice to allocate the funds. Enhance the beautiful layout of the course.
8/12/2014 2:15:08 PM
sickandtired says:
I totally agree with Iain Angus. Reinvest in our existing parks! Boulevard Lake Park is a city jewel that desparately needs attention from an arborist and resurfacing of the main parking area and roadways!
8/12/2014 2:42:17 PM
Bob Roberts says:
Then there is the dwindling "Special Reserve Fund" which is in need of a top up. It should be time for the City to consider selling Thunder Bay Hydro to Hydro One,reinvest after paying off Debt, I'm betting the return is greater than the amount they receive from Thunder Bay Hydro, as that's been the case in every other municipality that's gone this route. Same goes for Tbaytel time to capitalize on sale of this asset while it still can command a decent rate of return for the city. Over time its value will go down. Limited growth and will need of lots of capital to keep current and upgrade facilities. Event Center here we come.
8/12/2014 3:29:00 PM
progress now says:
I would suggest the money go to the legal fund to fight CN.

This is not a job for city legal council and they are going to have to bring in specialists from Toronto I would think, and that won't come cheap.
8/12/2014 5:59:33 PM
sprintfan says:
No doubt they invest it in a park,Marina Park! Thunder Bays Bottomless pit for spending!
8/12/2014 6:32:45 PM
orca says:
How about use the money on consultants to tell us how to use the money?
Seriously, I agree with one poster. Use the money to pay off debts. Thats what I do when I have extra money.
8/12/2014 10:25:35 PM
smartguy83 says:
Well the cities debt ranges from 3-4%. It is very common to see many investment funds returning well beyond that level right now. It makes sense to consider investing or allocating the funds to projects as opposed to paying down low rate debt.

Many people in this city really struggle to understand finance. Educating the public on this topic will help people understand the Council's decisions much better.
8/13/2014 9:32:49 AM
Pandora says:
Joey Joe Jr...well put
Why wouldn't OUR Realty Division not do something smart and do a development, they subdivide and make 20 times the money .

Really, $650.000 is just another give away to a another connected developer.
8/12/2014 10:34:39 PM
smartguy83 says:
They wouldn't get approval for that.
8/13/2014 9:26:02 AM
Stephen says:
no no build another hockey rink...it will help keep sub-literate pickup truck -driving, baseball hat-wearing morons off the streets.
8/13/2014 12:25:21 AM
nvjgu says:
They spend more than that painting bike lanes.
8/13/2014 3:29:07 AM
smartguy83 says:
Very worth it though. I have seen bike traffic escalate.
8/13/2014 9:25:30 AM
signman says:
They did not have to sell this golf course!

The price they got for this 9 hole golf course with a club house with living quarters and a large parking lot is beyond belief.
We all know the price of real estate in this area has gone through the roof and many single dwelling homes on small lots sell for more than this.

Council has again shown its lack of leadership in giving up this golf course that only lost money due to poor mismanagement!

Trying to play games now with the proceeds from this sale ( with the municipal election on Oct. 27) is just that, a big game with the taxpayers on the short end of the stick again!
8/13/2014 5:30:39 AM
Joey_J says:
What are you waiting for? You have all these "great" ideas, preaching fiscal responsibility, claim to be speaking for the majority. Test those theories; FILE YOUR PAPERS!
8/13/2014 8:35:13 AM
varga says:
Sometimes I wonder if ANY thought goes into the comments here at all. I appreciate that everyone has two bits to put in but nobody does it properly. Instead of airing your ideas here run for council or send your ideas to council. If you have the grit to do that then by all means comment away. The one request I would have is that you post a pic of your face when you find out all the stuff you don't know that makes your idea impossible to implement. For example, why didn't the city develop this land themselves? Because they NEVER do it is not their mandate to do things like that. In addition to that how likely do you think it would be that the citizens of Thunder Bay would support an initiative to spends MILLIONS of dollars to develop the land and then MILLIONS again to build on it? I also love how most comments on here are the result of personal feelings and angst as opposed to facts. At least own it and say that you are envious that you are not wealthy enough to be a land developer...
8/13/2014 10:56:38 AM
signman says:
The $650,000 the city received from the sale of Municipal Golf Course would not even be enought to pay for the two ugly beacons at the waterfront that cost taxpayers $1 million dollars or the extra $1 million dollars the city needed for the most recent cost over-run on the phase three study of the proposed Event Centre.

If Bruno Contracting was selling this golf course back to the city I am sure the price would be double what they just paid for it.

Perhaps Councillor Iain Angus should take this money and try and buy a 9 hole golf course.

Good Luck!
8/13/2014 5:03:24 PM
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