Comment 57984

By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 25, 2011 at 15:09:25

Brilliant article.

I suggest everyone write to our provincial MPPs and urge them NOT to close the funding gap... here is my letter:

To: Hamilton MPPs

I am writing you in regards to the on-going PanAm stadium issue in Hamilton. I was in attendance at our city council meeting last night where our City Manager was directed to continue to negotiate with the provincial government in an attempt to close the funding gap for the Ivor Wynne Stadium renovation.

At this meeting Mayor Bob Bratina stated that the residents of Hamilton want council to “Save the Ti-Cats” and “not raise taxes.”

But many Hamiltonians want to see leadership and new vision for this city and hoped the PanAm funding would be a galvanizing force in our downtown. There are thousands of Hamiltonians who have been actively, passionately involved in this stadium debate. Not because of the Ti-cats. But because we believe this community can be so much more than it is. And we saw the leveraging of our city’s Future Fund plus provincial and federal tax dollars as a way to create both a PanAm legacy of high-performance and community amateur athletics, as well as to kickstart private investment in the West Harbour.

Unfortunately the IWS renovation comes at the opportunity cost of remediating a brownfield site in a prime development area of our city, of securing a permanent velodrome, and of leaving an amateur athletics legacy for our city. In short, it fails both the city-building criteria for spending Future Fund dollars, as well as the PanAm amateur athletics legacy criteria.

In fact, there is no discernible ROI on the money that will be invested in this project whatsoever, as well as very shaky economic projections due to the last-minute nature of negotiations.

If the provincial government is tempted to close the funding gap the IWS reno is experiencing in an attempt to please Hamiltonians, I think it will be a fail on your part. The public relations of the Ti-Cats with this community are at an all-time low, and I suspect the vast majority of Hamiltonians are not willing to keep the Ti-Cats here at any cost.

I do not want my tax dollars spent to provide additional sources of revenue to a private, money-losing business.

Kind regards -Andrea

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