County council says town made right move in closing stadium

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PICTOU – County councillors are congratulating the Town of New Glasgow on showing leadership by closing their rink.

Coun. Robert Parker told council during a recent meeting that New Glasgow made the “right move” by announcing last week that John Brother MacDonald Stadium will close in September.

“Hopefully another one will follow,” said Parker. “It was a brave move to do it and it will benefit all taxpayers.”

The announcement to close the stadium came little over a week after it was revealed that the Pictou County Wellness Centre was going to have a large operating deficit for its first year as well as the one to follow.

New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan said the decision to close the stadium will play an important role in reducing each of the five municipal units’ deficit portion of the Pictou County Wellness Centre by increasing the usage capacity. He added it will also enable the Town of New Glasgow to better manage its deficit portion of the Wellness Centre by eliminating the $300,000 allocation that is contributed towards the stadium on an annual basis.

Municipality of Pictou County CAO Brian Cullen told county councillors last week during a finance committee meeting that the 2012-2013 unaudited fiscal outlook for the Pictou County Wellness Centre shows a shortfall of about $445,500.

The operating deficit for the centre is projected to be just over $300,000 while the board operations, which relate to debt financing charges, come in at around $600,000. However, the Pictou County Wellness Building Authority is predicting the actual shortfall will be $445,000. Since then the towns have been under pressure to come up with a solution. Closing one rink would increase the number of ice rentals at the wellness centre.

Coun. David Parker also congratulated New Glasgow, but echoed Robert Parker’s comments that the county still has too many ice surfaces.

“With seven ice surfaces, we have too much ice,” he said. “I hope the other town fathers have the vision and courage to see this is good for all of the county and not just their town.”

Organizations: Pictou County Wellness Centre, Pictou County Wellness Building Authority

Geographic location: New Glasgow, Pictou County

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  • Puzzled
    June 12, 2013 - 15:08

    Tell me why they did so many upgrades in the last few years at John Brother like a new roof, new refridgeration system, new heated viewing room, new sound system, new paint among other things? Surely with all their great wisdom and foresight they would have factored all this in to both places? Call it what it is, they made a huge mistake in the costs and attendence projections of the Wellness Center and are trying to save a sinking ship. Look out Stellarton, you're next! Oh ya, same repairs there to upgrade the rink.

  • Larrivee
    June 12, 2013 - 08:00

    How does closing the best arena besides the Wellness Ctr make sense for Pictou County? Anyone that supports that position does not see the big long-term picture. I know of no one who lodgically supports the closure of the stadium over other arenas in Pictou County. Poor Leadership overall. A shame really that the next generation is stuck with such a gaffe!!!!

  • Cecil beatle
    June 11, 2013 - 22:40

    Yeah pat each other on the back . If it was designed properly and an unwanted tax wasnt shoved down our throat , it might have been accepted. But those idiots didnt go about it the right way and it isn't supported . Gotta laugh at the statement there are too many ice surfaces, so why were two more built.? Idiots!