The location of the infamous Gold Pan was raised again last night, this time in the context of the cost of a back drop for it in the 2021 capital budget.
Councillor Ron Paull…
“I must say that I cannot support the capital budget based on an 80 thousand dollar backdrop to a Gold Pan that really is objectionable in terms of its location throughout a broad spectrum of the community.”
Paull also unsuccessfully proposed that Council revisit the location of the Gold Pan and hold in abeyance the $80,650 proposed in the budget.
There were others who also expressed some concern over the price tag of the back drop.
Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg pointed out however, that there was more to it than that…
“We’re also talking about interpretive signage which we talked about from the beginning, we’re talking about lighting and landscaping which are pieces that we would put anywhere if we were to redo any kind of signage, so it’s not just about the back drop.”
For his part, Councillor Scott Elliott noted that they were also trying to get a 30 thousand dollar Northern Development Initiative Trust grant to bring down the cost of the project.
As for the location, he said he thinks it’s perfect…
“The whole idea behind this was to be able to drive tourism downtown to help our businesses. We’re working on a community campground, we’ve got the Riverfront trail right there, we’ve got the upgrade to the museum, we’ve got the upgrade to the playground, the new arena precinct. For me everything ties in together and if we can get more people downtown it’s just going to invite more people to walk around and frequent the businesses.”
Elliott added that while some people were unhappy with the move, he feels the silent majority is in favour of it.
Mayor Bob Simpson noted that the 80 thousand was also .4 percent of the 12.4 million dollar capital budget.
He also said that Council shouldn’t second guess itself..
“You know Council can go back and revisit. I bet you any money you revisit it, you put it somewhere else, there is going to be a lot of people complaining at ya. A, that you’ve wasted money moving it again because there are a lot of people who do think it’s a good location and we should finish it there, B that you moved it to the wrong location and you’re going to start another location fight on Facebook.”
Simpson closed by saying it was time for Council to “get over it, and get on with it.”
The total capital budget is for just over 12.4 million dollars.
Some of the bigger ticket items include 1.36 million for a Childcare Centre, 815 thousand for a municipal campground, 650 thousand for a food hub, 474 thousand on the foot bridge and 457 thousand and change on Riverfront Trail lighting.