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.”