By RTH Staff
Published July 15, 2010
In a reply to a citizen's email of support for the West Harbour stadium location that he copied to local news media, Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla wrote that he "won't be supporting the East Mountain site or any site for that matter if the private sector doesn't invest the additional $35 million."
He added that his "understanding is the money is not forthcoming therefore I'm not supporting the East Mountain or West Harbour."
Merulla clarified that his vote at the July 7 stadium meeting was only to support "the study to compare the two sites" and not to endorse either location.
Merulla then further clarified his position in a follow-up email:
Moreover, as you should know, I did not support the expenditure for the stadium. Having said this it was incumbent of me to make the best of a very bad decision to build the stadium. The East Mountain site was the best case scenario for the taxpayer due to the fact the Ti-Cats absorb the present subsidy and operating costs. They were also putting $15 million toward capital. The private sector was expected to provide the additional %35 million as promised.
West Harbour development and LRT are still moving ahead and were actually planned prior to the Pan Am fiasco through the Setting Sail plan. I've always argued that we need to govern based on needs and not wants and I was ridiculed for my position on the stadium when I didn't support the financing but I did need to attempt to protect the taxpayers and the East Mountain site would have mitigated the financial hit on residents.
Having said this, the private sector is apparently not contributing the additional $35 million necessary. I would hope council would support my position to upgrade Ivor Wynne as per the 2007 plan of twenty million dollars over twenty years for generations to come.
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