SUMMERSIDE – City council Tuesday night approved a commitment made last month to spend $224,989 for upgrades to Credit Union Place.
© MIke Carson/Journal Pioneer
Councillor Jim Steele wants profits from the lobster carnival to go to service organizations. Other councillors want any revenue generate to go back into the carnival as seed money to grow the event and make it self-sustaining.
The funds are the city’s share of a $703,089 plan for work at the facility. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, through its Innovative Communities Fund, is investing $478,100.
The money will be used to purchase two LED screens for the arena make upgrades to the WIFI network, increase security and safety at the CUP, and expand the current stage.
There have been questions raised over the process city council undertook to make the commitment. The issue was discussed behind closed doors and although not vote was taken, a commitment was agreed to by council to spend the money.
ACOA made the announcement of the project last week, including the city’s contribution, before council officially approved spending it.
Councillor Jim Steele, chairman of the city’s community services committee, said there was a reason for why the situation unfolded the way it did.
Since ACOA is the major funding partner it is their protocol that they make the announcement
“We just respect the ACOA people,” Steele said. “We certainly have to do that.”
Steele said there is a need for the upgrades to Credit Union Place, particularly with regards to staging concerts and other events.
“The equipment that was supplied to the Credit Union Place was the objective of the upcoming budget,” he said. “It was needed for the upgrades to be able to have our concerts and any other activities to go forward and make it more attractive.”
Steele said the initial investment and partnership with ACOA is in actuality a cost saving measure because each time a concert is staged or similar event, lighting has to be brought in staging needs to be expanded and these involve extra expenditures.
“That goes back into the cost of a concert coming in,” he said. “We have to supply more staging.”
These expenditures can be eliminated and the initial investment recouped.