It is hard to imagine just how many requests our local municipal councils receive from individuals and groups within the community seeking assistance.
Our elected officials must often feel as though they want to help every one of the hundreds of people looking for a financial boost each year, but tough decisions must be made.
As taxpayers, we want to know that every dollar collected and placed into municipal coffers is spent wisely. We regard these men and women who took office as our representation as stewards of our money.
The organizer of a large, annual blues festival held each year in Bible Hill recently approached the Town of Truro seeking substantial funding to the tune of $20,000.
David DeWolfe, producer of the Dutch Mason Blues Festival, submitted a written request for council’s support indicating the way to make the internationally known festival “bigger and better” is through sustainability, which will require ongoing financial assistance.
Last year, it was estimated about 10,000 people attended the concert based at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition grounds in Bible Hill. During the weekend event there is a mix of blues music, a bike show and barbecue contest held at the site.
Onsite vendors provide food and drinks and even a temporary campground is organized to provide accommodations. People can find comforts without leaving the grounds for the entire weekend.
It is difficult to measure the economic impact that such a festival has on the community. It is also important to remember this festival is a for-profit venture, which is not organized in support of any community based organization.
Truro Mayor Bill Mills said he would like to see the festival’s financial records, a fair request when considering investing in any business venture, which is what this event is.
Taxpayers already have a stake in a concert venue at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre.
For example an upcoming concert featuring Classified will benefit the community as a whole by putting money back into the centre which our tax dollars fund, and will continue to fund for many years to come.
This type of request should be well thought out and it is encouraging to see local politicians scrutinizing the pros and cons before making a final decision.