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Letter to the Editor: Event Centre isn't affordable at this time

Letter to the Editor The city has wasted over $5 million dollars on consultants and design work on a proposed event centre while the city literally goes to pot.
City Hall

Letter to the Editor

The city has wasted more than $5 million dollars on consultants and design work on a proposed Event Centre while the city literally goes to pot. Any thoughts on replacing the Fort William Gardens should be put on the back burner for at least the next five years as it is just not affordable at the present time.

Taxpayers are in no mood to deplete the $20 million plus in the renew Thunder Bay Fund and also be take out a large debenture to build a new ice palace that will have an operating loss of more than three times what it now costs to operate the Fort William Gardens.

The proposed new Event Centre is expected to have an operating loss of between $1.4 million in the first year rising to $1.7 million dollars by year five with Lakehead University being the main tenant, according to the phase 2 feasibility report.

Taxpayers have just been hit with a tax increase of more than three per cent keeping Thunder Bay at the top of the list for the highest taxes in Northern Ontario as pointed out in the Chatham Kent BMA report.

The city is in such dire straits that they are now proposing a 2 bag limit on our garbage bags, reducing two city positions.

City road plowing is the worst it's ever been. Major road work has been delayed on two major arteries while most of the side streets have deteriorated to a point of no return.

The city is also contemplating closing Dease Pool that has been serving the people in that area for more than 100 years and the city has also tried, unsuccessfully, to close the Thunder Bay Conservatory.

Ten years ago Standard and Poors indicated in their annual report that the city's rising debt was a cause for concern. Our debt load has not improved and is fast approaching $200 million and is expected to go even higher.

Just like Nanaimo, B.C. we need to have a plebiscite on the proposed Event Centre before another cent is spent on this proposal and with the next municipal election just over a year and a half away there is lots of time to get it on the ballot.

Raymond A. Smith- Chairman
The Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay