CORNWALL, Ontario – Council addressed the issue of paying management fees to a private company to run Big Ben and Marina 200.
In late March, Councillor Maurice Dupelle originally moved to end the contract with Leader Sports. Leader Sports are paid to operate Big Ben and Marina 200.
“We do not currently fund any private business in the City of Cornwall,” he said.
According to the City’s Chief Financial Officer Tracey Bailey, City budgets $78, 000 per year for Big Ben and $65, 000 for Marina 200.
Councillor Elaine MacDonald spoke in favour of the management fees, stating that there was little difference in the management fees to a roadwork tender.
“We can’t afford to lose this because the Marina puts us on the map on the river,” she said. “Every meeting we fund private businesses because we can’t do anything ourselves. I see not difference in funding Leaders Sports to operate those locations for us and having Cornwall Gravel redo our roads for us.”
Councillor David Murphy, who seconded the motion to end the management fees, stated his concerns with financially supporting the Big Ben ski hill.
“I have a huge issue with a recreation landfill,” he said. “Those are two words that should never be on the same sign.”
Ultimately, the Mayor stepped down from the Council Chair to address the issue to Council.
“What we are talking about is money,” he said. “In other words, how to operate things in the City affordably. If you take out the word “Management Fee” or “Operational Fee” is there a difference? When we are talking about saving taxpayer money then that’s what we’re doing, we’re just doing it with private business,” he continued.
In a recorded vote, Council voted four-to-six to continue the management fees for Big Ben and Marina 200.