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$50M community centre pushed to top of CBS wish list

By Craig Westcott/June 17, 2022

CBS council has updated its annual funding request to Ottawa, placing a proposed $50 million community centre at the top of the wish list.

If approved, and with a $6.5 million rebate for HST calculated in, the actual cost to Conception Bay South taxpayers would be some $14,492,754, with the federal and provincial governments each paying that same amount as well.

After council voted unanimously to approve the updated list, which also includes a further $10 million worth of funding for wastewater, street, and water and sewer line upgrades as well as the replacement of Seal Cove Bridge, Mayor Darrin Bent assured taxpayers the Town can handle its share of the borrowing.

“The Town over the past few years, through its prudent management of its finances and paying down the debt, have put ourselves in an excellent financial position to be able to carry these (loans) and that’s why we’ve asked for the numbers we’ve asked for,” Bent said. “The top one (the community centre) is no doubt a large sum, but we believe that the residents of Conception Bay South require and deserve a first-rate community centre for our families, for our young people, for our seniors, for everyone. We were desperately exposed at how bereft we are of indoor space during Covid when a number of facilities closed down and left us very exposed for our community groups and leaving people wanting space.”

Bent pointe said that the Town has already approached federal and provincial politicians about it.

“And it’s important to note that this facility that we are looking for is of a regional nature, it will serve more than just the Town of Conception Bay South, but also Conception Bay Centre and outlying areas from there as well,” the mayor added. “We’ll be looking for partners and supporters from other places as well, and our own community groups. I’ve talked to a few of them, and I know other councillors have as well, and their support for this project is something this council believes in, it’s something we all heard during the election and before, and it’s something that probably everyone in this room has experienced from their own family or other people that they know – the need for this space is crucial. That’s why we’ve put it up top on this list. It’s a big number, but it’s a number we believe the residents of Conception Bay South deserve and based on our financial prudence the last few years we have put ourselves in a position where we can do this and we won’t have to be going specifically with this route to taxpayers. So, I’m glad to see this on the list and hopefully we’ll be able to get the support from the levels of government that we want.”

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