Carbonear using rec spending to boost town’s attractiveness
By Patrick Newhook/December 30, 2021
Carbonear has big plans for recreation next year, according to the town budget.
Council presented its budget on December 21.
Mayor Frank Butt said investing in recreation benefits the whole community.
“Over the years we have invested heavily into recreation because it adds to our town,” said Butt. “We use that as an advantage to attracting businesses, residents and new residents as well… If you’re going to try to attract people, you have to provide facilities for them.”
Carbonear is slated to spend some $1,269,709 on recreation facilities and cultural services in 2022.
Some of the money will be used to upgrade the community pool. That includes $50,000 for replacing siding at the rear of the pool and $7,000 to set up an online registration system.
Money is also earmarked to upgrade the ballfield. After multiple delays, the Carbonear Islanders Softball Association will host the U19 Softball Nationals next year.
“A tournament of this caliber will require some upgrades to our softball facilities including electronic scoreboards, fence protection, stone and sand, an infield groomer and a multipurpose utility vehicle, all of which will cost approximately $75,000 in total,” said councilor Chris O’Grady, who chairs the finance committee.
Butt said it’s good to have events like this because it shows the Town’s investment in its facilities has been worthwhile.
“We have the facilities here to host it, so because of that we should certainly apply for these things, and I am more than happy to have them come here,” said Butt.
The mayor argued it’s important to add money to recreation year after year.
“We have a lot of events during the year and If you don’t keep adding to it than your facilities are going to get run down and if you have to upgrade its going to cost you a lot more money to upgrade all at once,” he explained.
The budget also focuses on growth, Butt noted, which should make Carbonear more attractive to newcomers.
“I firmly believe that we have to attract more businesses, and when you attract more businesses, you attract more residents and people say if we’re going to move somewhere for a job, we’re going to move to Carbonear,” Butt said. “If a new doctor is coming in here and they look at our facilities and they look at what we have in our infrastructure, they’re going to say Carbonear is a well-developed town, well growing town and we certainly wouldn’t mind moving here and setting up residence.”