Monday, January 4, 2010

Here We Go Again..... "EEERP".... up our taxes..

Eastern End Entranceway Redevelopment Plan... "EEERP"... sounds more like "Burp" to me as the whole idea of another rink complex seems a bit hard to swallow..... but it wasn't too long ago that I predicted that since Basil opened his new $44,000,000.00 Wellness Centre in Summerside it wouldn't be long before Clifford would want one and “why not try and outdo them”... surely the City can't be seriously thinking about building another white elephant with a rink in it but they've done sillier things... the City already has a $78,000,000.00 debt so why not pop it over the $100,000,000.00 mark so we can all pay more taxes for something we don’t need... how do you spell "throw the bums out"...
Civic Centre may see big changes
The Guardian
The future of the Charlottetown Civic Centre is going to come under close scrutiny in 2010.
A report in 2009 gave the city three options on the 19-year-old arena — renovate, leave it as is or build a brand new rink from the ground up.
The Civic Centre gets $300,000 in funding now from the three levels of government for upkeep. To renovate it to the point where it would be a bowl-style arena like most major rinks would cost at least $10 million (and most likely a lot more).
Now comes the Eastern End Entranceway Redevelopment Plan, the second phase of the market and strategic analysis on the Civic Centre’s future. But that plan includes much more than just the rink itself. It’s going to look at everything in the immediate area — the old oil tank farm off Grafton Street, the Department of Highways depot, the Charlottetown Driving Park and plenty of the vacant land in the area.
“As opposed to us simply looking at that whole area on a piecemeal basis we’ve decided to engage an outside expert to work with a steering committee,’’ Mayor Clifford Lee said in a year-end interview.
That committee consists of representatives from the City of Charlottetown, Charlottetown Civic Centre Management Inc., Charlottetown Harbour Authority and Charlottetown Area Development Corporation.
“Will we see a new Charlottetown Civic Centre being constructed in the next year? Not likely,’’ Lee said with a tone that put extra emphasis on ‘not likely’, “but it does create an opportunity for partnerships between a lot of different parties. Obviously there is a lot of interest there in that area of our city, a lot of opportunities in that area for our city.’’
At the end of the day, if a new arena is built it will likely take the financial might of all levels of government. But the city’s concern doesn’t end with the cost of building a new arena.
“What can we afford to build and what can we afford to maintain?’’
One of the ideas that could be toyed with is regional co-operation in terms of cost and maintenance.
The CARI complex operates in that manner. Charlottetown foots the lion’s share of the bill but not all of it. Help arrives from the surrounding areas.
Speaking of CARI, it had a banner year in 2009 with an estimated 450,000 visitations. The aquatics area alone had 120,000 visits.
CARI is in the midst of a $1.5-million retrofit to reduce the level of energy needed to light, heat, dehumidify and cool the facility. There are 18 projects recommended in an energy audit that are scheduled to be finished by the end of 2010. CARI received more than $200,000 in upgrades from the three levels of government in 2009 to make it Canada Games ready
The Simmons Sports Centre received a number of upgrades in 2009 — to the brine system and washroom area of the dressing rooms. The facility was scheduled to get a desiccant dehimidifier in late December.
The Cody Banks Arena is getting two new dressing rooms early in 2010.
But the major focus will be on the eastern gateway plan.
“I think there is a clear distinction, in my view, between what is a challenge and what is an opportunity and I really see this whole area as an opportunity for this area,’’ Lee said.

No comments: