The Fort William Gardens continues to serve – Ray Smith

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Fort William Gardens is nearing the end of its life-span. What should happen next?
Fort William Gardens
Fun for all at Fort William Gardens as the Police All-Stars topped the Thunder Bay Senators in the Annual Crimestoppers Game - Photo by Dman.
Fun for all at Fort William Gardens as the Police All-Stars topped the Thunder Bay Senators in the Annual Crimestoppers Game – Photo by Dman.

THUNDER BAY – Opinion – The Fort William Gardens continues to serve this city well.  The capacity of the gardens (3700)  is more than adequate for all the teams that it has served over the years  including the semi pro team we had here for eight years in the 1990’s.  (Average attendance 2200 and no economic impact to the community)

And lets not forget the 34 years left in the lease the Fort William Curling Club has with the City of Thunder Bay.

As we all know the Curling Club is attached to the Fort William Gardens and both these buildings will be here for many years to come. There is no way city taxpayers can afford to subidize yet another wonder building that would require an annual subsidy of over a million dollars a year rising to well over $ l.5 million by year five, (phase two feasibility report)
as well as the Fort William Gardens that requires an annual subsidy of about $500,000.

Many of our citizens are struggling to remain in their homes, while others are wondering where they will get enough money together to pay their  rent .

The decision makers in city hall have lost sight of the real world.  They are quite comfortable with their sunshine type salaries and have blinders on when it comes to the rest of us.

The Chamber of Commerce stated in their Feb. report this year ” taxes will reach alarming levels if municipal spending continues to increase at the current rate.”

Here’s  what we know about our city.

1.  It has an extremely high debt of about $170 million dollars  or more.
2. It has tens of millions of dollars in unfunded liabilities to city employees.
3. Golf Links road, second phase  in being debentured.( $ 8 million dollars.)
The  first phase went well over budget.
4. Repairs to Boulevard dam have been put off for at least a year .( 1.7 million over budget)
5.  TBayTel  gave the city a dividend of $17 million dollars but is debenturing $10 million for upgrades. Also they owe Rodgers how much?
6. The snow removal budget last year went $3.5 million over budget.
7. The snow removal budget for 2014 is already used up and is expected to go at least 3 million over budget.
8. The City has several law suits pending and it is my understanding another one is coming as early as today.
9.  Most of the roads are still deplorable and there is still tens of  millions of dollars required for infrastructure upgrades.
10. There is so much crime in this city people are afraid to walk the streets or go out at night.

A new Event Centre is the last thing we need!

Why is the city pushing so hard for this project?

Have deals been made behind closed doors like the windfarm fiascal?

Has a deal been made with the developer at the Waterfront or the Hotelier?

What Gives?

It is time to let the public know exactly what’s going on.

It’s time to stop this project in its tracks and give the public a vote. (Oct 27)

What is the city afraid of? –  A simple vote from all of its citizens.

Raymond A. Smith
Chairman  Concerned taxpayers of Thunder Bay

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