Civic centre concerns prompt co-chairs to issue statement

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Facility to be completely operational before official opening

EDITOR'S NOTE: Colchester mayor Bob Taylor and Greg MacArthur, the co-chairs of the civic centre project steering committee, issued the following statement to address recent developments regarding the project.

TRURO – The progress and naming of our civic centre has caused a lot of concern in the

community recently.

We, as co-chairs of the civic centre project steering committee, would like to take this

opportunity to explain the process.

As to the progress of the construction, although we had hoped the facility would open in October, the construction schedule set out by PCL, the contractor, was for 27 months with a finish date of Nov. 19, 2012.

As with many projects of this size,

unforeseen circumstances arise which cause delays.

This is the case here, which will delay the project at least two months. Even a staged opening is not practical. We want

this facility completely operational before we open the doors.

We want to be clear that this is a community facility owned by the County of Colchester

and the Town of Truro. A project steering committee was set up and entrusted by both

councils for the construction of the facility and now an operations board has been

established to oversee the ongoing operations.

The project steering committee was set up by the county and the town four years

ago. It is an eight-member board comprised of four council representatives and four

citizen representatives. In each case, two of each are from the town and the county.

The project steering committee is made up of four committees, one being the

fundraising committee, which is chaired by Jon Stanfield. The fundraising committee

committed to raise $5.5 million for this project.

As part of the fundraising campaign, which is typical for a project of this magnitude, a

naming rights policy was established to attract major sponsors. This policy set out the amount of funding required to name the facility, the arena, the aquatics centre and

various other components of the facility.

The naming policy also set out the type of

public announcement that would be made according to the amount of the funding.

These policies were approved by the project steering committee.

In the case of the recent announcement of the facility, the Rath Eastlink Community Centre was approved at a meeting of the project steering committee as the combined contribution of Stu Rath and John Bragg met the goal set out in the

policy for the naming of the facility.

This also qualified for a special event to announce and honour this commitment. What is important here, which was important to us on the project steering committee, is that it is a community centre and that is recognized in the name.

The article in the Tuesday edition of the Truro Daily News referring to the

announcement of the facility naming stating, ‘the gathering is not open to the public' sent a poor message which was not acceptable or authorized by us, the co-chairs of

this project.

The fundraising committee has, and will, make these announcements as set out in the policy.

Rest assured that we feel very strongly that we are building this facility as a community

centre and we want all of the community to feel welcome and enjoy it.

This will start with an official opening to be announced in the near future, which will be open to the public at no charge, to enjoy the facility and all that it has to offer and view activities throughout the facility.

We are building a facility that we can all be very proud of and that community members

of all ages will be able to enjoy for many years. The facility will be able to host many

large events to our area, which is great for our enjoyment and our economy.

It is also the envy of many communities throughout the province and is attracting people and businesses to move here.

We hope that once the doors of this facility are open that everyone takes the opportunity to visit and enjoy, and, similar to the opening of our new hospital, say ‘Wow, this is a great addition to our community.'

It is time to move on, forget about our frustrations and look forward to that opening day.


Organizations: Rath Eastlink Community Centre, Truro Daily News

Geographic location: Colchester

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Recent comments

  • rickety cricket
    November 07, 2012 - 13:43

    If we had any decent leaders at all they would be on here engaging with us and giving us some answers instead of shouting down in booming voices from the mountaintop... BILL!!!! WHERE ARE YOU. DUDE???????? Do you like your job?????? Start engaging!!!!!!

    November 05, 2012 - 18:47

    All the mental health patients, all the dementia patients, all the alzheimer patients and and all the drug addiction patients who will be using the place on a daily basis because the hospital is too small won't care what the place is named. It's true. They won't care one bit.....

  • those who paid get to name
    November 05, 2012 - 17:03

    Hmm.... did Mr. Rath or Mr. Bragg contribute more money than the taxpayers of Truro, Colchester County, Province of NS or Dominion of Canada? No? Well then those entities get the naming rights. S/He who pays the most gets to name it. Otherwise build it yourself.

  • another voice
    November 05, 2012 - 13:26

    Hear, hear!! Another complaint... plus very little gratitude! Sorry to say, yes we needed another ice surface, sorry to say - from the start... it was planned wrong, constructed wrong and now in need of repairs - all before it opens!! This project hasn't sat well with me from the beginning. That being said, its here, its done (whether correctly or not) and we have to deal with it. My hockey player won't be using it, my family (because of the outrageous fees) won't be using it so I don't really care. Mr. Rath and Mr. Bragg - thank you for your many contributions to this town, county and anything else you have had a hand in improving. Not your fault its a load of crap.

  • Poor Folks Rebel
    November 05, 2012 - 09:55

    A name is just a name, no matter what they call this brand new fabulous facility it won't suit's the end user fees that are out of whack, how in the world will a working family afford these rates...if it's been built for the wealthy it should be privately owned and not paid for by the community at large.. but because it's for the communities of colchester county and the Town of Truro it should be affordable to all.. Annual memberships should offer great savings as opposed to walk in rates.. these annual rates should recognize couples discounts, affordable senior rates, and children's only rates.. none of it should be free of course but a healthy community lessens the burdens on our health care system.. come on rethink these fees people..

    November 05, 2012 - 08:30

    Not sure if macarthur and taylor are taking the blame or passing the buck to stanfield....

  • DANA
    November 05, 2012 - 06:47

    You can say all you want about the way the naming of the Civic Center was handled , it was still done behind closed doors. You the so called committee need to remember that most of the money came from the general public . The name should have based on that fact . Most people would have been happy to give more if they knew thay would have 5 years to pay and get the big tax breaks. To the committee , remember to put in for your travel to and from your meetings so you get paid for your time that was well spent.

  • concerned
    November 04, 2012 - 11:08

    Had to add my two cents, for what its worth, as i've been watching and reading everything about the civic center. Of course you will always here more negative than positive. That being said. The center had priced itself out of the middle majority that would keep it running. Their was so much negative with the shutting down of facilities ( pools and such ) so people would be forced to go there or travel outside of colchester. This happened before the center even opens. You have the look - that no one seems to like and now the naming issue. The biggest problem i see is the size of the rink. The seating capacity is to small to really bring anything from outside in of any size ( ie concerts and such ) Mark my words 5 years from now their will be the talk of needing a larger arena to house bigger events. Needless to say that the parking is going to be a issue as well. In todays economic times no one that is in the middle class or below can afford to do any of this. Good luck to all but all but expect more fund raisers and ignite to pay the bills compaign coming down the lines.

  • Parkman
    November 04, 2012 - 08:35

    Glad to hear Taylor & McArthurs point of view. This seems like the chairs gave the fundrasing duties to someone they thought was more like his father

  • chief wiggam
    November 03, 2012 - 11:31

    it may be owned and paid for by us but it bears someone else's name. as for "not open to the general public" there was no way to turn that into kool-aid. we "aint" drinking it. it tasted bad. "ploicy"? ...policy? we don't no real stinking policies!

  • PJ
    November 03, 2012 - 11:30

    Transparency should be the rule for a large public facility. Seems the policies that the committees set forth were NOT clear to the public. Stating that things were done according to policy is like a game where you make up your own rules. The committee failed to make these policies clear to the public. The committee should make public the causes for the delay and publish the policies. Enough hidden policies.

  • Muzz
    November 03, 2012 - 10:52

    I agree with with "JUST ME." The new name does not reflect the two communities and their taxpayers who will pay the majority of the cost for this centre. As I see it right now, it's a legacy for Mr. Rath and advertising for Mr. Bragg's cable company every time the centre's name is mentioned. There must have been other ways to honour these two men for their donations. Why couldn't we do it right and keep it simple and called it "the Truro Colchester Community Centre."

  • Joe
    November 03, 2012 - 10:36

    Do you really think that someone made an annoucement on their own without the committee knowing it , that the "gathering" was not open to the public. If this is what its going to like and centre is not even open, what is it going to be like when it is finally opened. Please print the names of the 40 people that were invited. I thought that all tax payers were equal. I hope there are no private rooms in this complex for private meetings in the future. Lets see how open and honest you are going to be. Please print all of the "policies" so we know where we stand. Please print the minutes for both committees. You are already starting off on the wrong foot.!!!!!!!

  • Thank you
    November 03, 2012 - 10:30

    It is a sad day when we can't just say thank you to those who give to our community. Naming rights come with a cost and are usually made with smart business sense, but no matter what the reason is to donate such a large sum of money, it benefits both the parties. We, as a community get a facility, and the donors get naming rights to market their business. Without these large donations, we would not be as close to our fundraising efforts. This is how sponsorship work so instead of complaining, I would like to thank the Mr. Rath and Eastlink for their generous donation.

  • dave
    November 03, 2012 - 09:07

    ya - we know whats right for you obviously inferior brained and uneducated folk. don't question our all knowing authority - it's not like it's your money or anything. now all praise us and the decisions we make (it's for the children don't ya know)

  • Sideshow Bob
    November 03, 2012 - 08:18

    Right on! It is time to stop the nit picking over colors and names and deadlines and embrace this state of the art facility for what it can do for this area. As always "haters gonna hate". Thanks Colchester residents, Mr. Rath, Mr. Bragg, Mr. Stanfield, Mayors and council and everyone else who has put countless hours into this project. It is obvious to me why you put so much time into this project (without any renumeration)- you are proud of your community! You believe we ar just as deserving of the latest sport/activity infrastructure as similar sized communities. So am I, so thank you for your work and effort. May it not be quite so thankless as we move forward to the opening and regular use of this great facility!

  • A Critical Eye
    November 03, 2012 - 06:19

    "It is time to move on, forget about our frustrations and look forward to that opening day." - Wow, This whole naming issue had sparked some criticism but also some genuine good discussion around concerns how this project has been planned and managed. Now, the co-chairs are basically telling us to shut up and forget about issues that are of concern to the citizens who will pay for this project via a press release ???? Yet again, an example of the less than stellar communication that has surrounded this project.

  • bruce farrell
    November 03, 2012 - 02:24

    There is quite a focus here on media portrayal of the "event",well whose fault is that? Some-one gave the TDN the information the article was based on. Better yet .it wasn't misleading nor untruthful was it? These "guide-lines",why were they kept secret? Perhaps you precluded sources of funding,by not keeping the public informed.there could be a vane person sitting on a whack of cash,not only in this area,but someone with ties to this area would'd have entered a bidding war. There is not the slightest nuance of an apologetic tone here.. If you two think that leaving the public in the dark ,when we are the major stake-holders in this project,is acceptable leadership,you don't get it at all. ie. Why we are ticked off. Lack of information.,combined with a paternalistic attitude. ,That's what rankles the little guys and some of the bigger fish here in town as well. I doubt your missive will satisfy many.we will see. Blaming the piano player for the song,wrong,you guys own it.

  • Mr. Slappy
    November 03, 2012 - 01:14

    No Bob...I will not move on. Not until you $%^^ can the crappy name. According to your statement, they apparently they didn't even meet the guidelines for naming cut the amount required in half ending up with a facility name that sounds like some poor child with 8 step parents. What's more, a number has never been put on naming rights publicly which would have interested parties outside this happy little closed doors circle to come forward. Wouldn't one think that would be the appropriate thing to do since you haven't even come close to reaching the funding goal anyway??? Since neither party in the name did contribute the required amount in these mysterious "rules" you have an use it! Otherwise, Why should they get the naming rights? Following your logic, I'm sure I could group together 8 other people who contributed far more. I vote for the Smith-Rogers-Emera-Casey-Brown-Pye-Lake-Macdonald Community Center. As usual, you've dug yourself an even bigger hole. Don't you know the first rule of politics is when the $$%^ hits the fan, hide? Why oh why didn't I challenge you in the election...getting rid of you by simply standing against the civic center would have netted me a landslide. Oh yeah...that's right...because 37 grand a year is a complete waste of time.

  • just me
    November 02, 2012 - 22:59

    If this is supposed to be a community facility for both Truro and Colchester, why doesn't the name of it reflect this. If someone from away were to hear the name of this new facility and he/she wasn't familiar with it, how would he/she know where it was located?

    • hrmm
      November 03, 2012 - 11:49

      You obviously could not care less about any of our concerns. Don't go on to patronize us all with this article just makes you look weak. (which you might as well have just forwarded to your 40 or so dignitaries and saved the ink)