Truro mayor unconcerned with county bid of NSPE

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TRURO - Colchester County's proposal to take over management of the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition (NSPE) did not pose any concerns for Truro Mayor Bill Mills, he says.

Truro Mayor Bill Mills.

And that is even in the face of the fact Truro would not have had a voting member on the board as it was proposed under the county's management plan.

"I have talked to Bob Taylor on this consistently." Mills said, regarding the Colchester County mayor.

"Everybody is of the opinion that they can't wait to get their greedy, little hands on that property. I don't share that sentiment in the sense that at least they were willing to put the money up to the Farm Loan Board and then take it to the next step."

The county had been on the cusp of signing a deal with the NSPE commission that would have seen it secure the deed to the property in exchange for paying off the facility's $422,000 debt to the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board.

That move was usurped last week, however, when the board suddenly called in the loan and seized the NSPE property and assets.

Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell is also in the process of arranging for a financial audit of the NSPE operations.

Taylor has repeatedly stated that the county's interest in the NSPE were entirely aimed at securing the future of its operations as well as that of the Truro Raceway, a position that has been questioned by some.

If the county had been successful in its bid, Mills said he was not concerned with the town not having a position on the NSPE board because the town provides funding for operations of both Victoria Park and the Marigold Cultural Centre, which the county does not. And he viewed that as a sort of trade off of responsibilities.

"Certainly there is a lot of politicking going on, on both sides and what hangs in the balance is the future of the exhibition and the raceway. And I am hoping that they will come to a successful resolution," Mills said.

"From what I can see, the county has stepped up to the plate with money and that's something that's in short supply."

Don Conrod, a board member who voted in favour of the county's offer, agreed.

"It was that option or foreclosure," he said. "It was the only option known to us, as far as I was concerned. Some of the things that I liked about it, there were definitely checks and balances in there, which is what's needed."

Twitter: @tdnharry


Organizations: NSPE commission, Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board, NSPE board Marigold Cultural Centre

Geographic location: Colchester County, Victoria Park

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Recent comments

  • Morah Kerr
    February 23, 2014 - 14:50

    While I'm away for a couple of months, I'm trying to keep updated with the situation of the NSPE and the Truro Raceway. I presently own 10 standardbreds, so this is a very important issue to me. Last fall I attended a county council meeting specifically for the NSPE situation. The issue that stuck out for me was Mayor Taylor. While he was the County's rep on the NSPE board, he offered not one word about what the NSPE board was doing. To the point that the county actually suggested they met with the NSPE board to discuss some issues. How can you trust someone who will not be open. I'm sorry but I have too much money invested into this industry to take a chance on someone's "word". One comment I took away was made at the end of the meeting when Karen MacKenzie said the County's mandate did not include running any businesses. I guess much as changed within our County Council.