“We Need to Get it Right” Scott Lecky on the Arena…

It was a spirited and impressive presentation today at City Hall this afternoon.  This special meeting was called solely for the purpose of council deciding whether or not to allow the funding committee to be able to sell the various naming rights to the new arena.

Led by Ramada Inn and Conference Center owner Scott Lecky lecky City Council received some interesting numbers about why to allow the fund raising committee the ability to find name sponsors for the new 3+1 facility that’s being pushed onto Cornwall taxpayers.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love hockey having worked in it and with some of the greatest legends of the game, but the numbers for this project just don’t quite add up to me.

Mr. Lecky and his team have done an amazing job.   They deserve to be allowed to build an arena and I think that this group can definately get the job done.

I also think that they should be allowed the opportunity to raise funds via the naming rights.   I think the city’s policy of allowing council the right of approval warrants enough protection for Cornwall’s image.

If Mr. Lecky and his team can get a few million for the naming rights and the name isn’t say….. ” The Hooter Bowl” then by all means let’s save the taxpayers some loot.

My problem is the project as it stands.

At the last council meeting there was a super presentation by the Football Association.

They had raised and had $100,000.00 ready to go and were asking the city to build them a turf field and facility for about a million dollars.

A small group coming up with about 10% of a project to me is something that if not rewarded deserves a lot of consideration.

How many people play hockey in Cornwall and how much should the 12,000 or so taxpayers of Cornwall have to spend to support hockey in Cornwall?  At the current projections it comes down to almost $3000.00 per taxpayer if they can keep the budget under $40 Million.  On top of that it’d cost those same 12,000 taxpayers over $80 per year to maintain the facility based on the numbers provided.

One coucillor said that was fine as it was being financed, but isn’t that how we ended up in the current recession?  And just because we can get the financing does it mean we should use it in this manner?

Maybe we should?  I’m glad that it’s not my decision, but as a taxpayer in Cornwall I sure as heck hope that my city council and those that make these decisions think long and hard before writing cheques we end up having to pay as this will be the legacy for many sitting on council.

What also bothered me was one coucillor stating that the project would still happen if the Feds didn’t kick in their third and that the taxpayers would have to pick up the balance.

Honestly I would’ve liked to see this fundraising committee having come to this meeting with $3 million dollars in pledges and cash in the bank and say the people of Cornwall really want this Arena.  As Councilor Carr said” If you want it you have to go out and raise funds for it.”

Mayor Kilger touched on the importance of the citizens of Cornall making this project their own and I couldn’t agree with him more.

So yes, timing is everything in life, but there are a lot of things that such a large amount of money can be spent on.  For example, housing, an arts center of some sort for Cornwall, a turf field and facility….

What do you think Cornwall?

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