TRURO – Colchester County council has rejected an invitation from the Town of Truro to meet for a discussion about this year’s projected six-figure budget deficit at the civic centre.
Colchester County Council
“Thanks but no thanks,” Councillor Ron Cavanaugh said, in making a motion to send a letter with that message back to the town.
“We feel it is important to meet and discuss,” Langille said, in the letter, given the implication the Rath Eastlink Community Centre’s (RECC) projected deficit has on the budgets for both municipalities.
RECC general manager Jim Lambert recently reported to council that the facility had generated a $737,000 deficit following its first year of operation and was projecting a $721,000 deficit for this year.
The county and the town are equally responsible for making up those losses through taxpayer dollars.
Earlier in the county meeting, council gave its consent to the RECC budget as part of the additions and deletions process of the municipality’s annual budget approval.
“I guess one of my concerns, I don’t know where this would be is going, but I don’t think we ever got into the practice of micro-managing anything before. And I don’t know if it would be a good practice to start down that road,” said Mayor Bob Taylor, who added that both municipalities have two representatives on the RECC operating board and any concerns could be expressed through them.
“We have to give this thing time,” he said, of the fact the facility is still in its infancy stage and should be given a reasonable chance to deal with start up costs and issues and to generate the revenue it is believed to be capable of.
Coun. Christine Blair, who spoke in favour of meeting with the town, had also expressed concern that the county had accepted the RECC’s budget figures without seeing more detailed information relating to its projections.
“Personally, I have no problem meeting with the town of Truro on this subject because I believe that we both have a big interest in this and a big financial commitment,” she said, before voting against the motion to not meet with the town.