Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"the Mac" to be studied by Mayor's group

Timmins Mayor Tom Laughren announced Monday he will be appointing an ad hoc committee to review the future of the McIntyre Community Building.
The “Mac” which is now is it’s 70th year of operation, is running an annual deficit of half a million dollars a year, according to a reported tabled before city council this week.
“Historically the McIntyre has run at about a $500,000 deficit. This is not new. I went back and checked the reports in 1990, in 1995 and there was a $500,000 deficit back then as well,” said city administrator Joe Torlone.
He added that revenues from the curling rink, the ballroom, the auditorium. the restaurant and the Lion’s Club have been consistent and have even shown a gradual increase. But Torlone says the revenues are still not enough to even pay the utility bills for the building.
The mayor says the city will seek out members of the public who wish to be on the committee, examine the costs of running the building and even explore ideas for a major renovation. The committee will also include city staff and some council members.
City clerk Jack Watson, who co-authored the report to council said “we’re not interested in closing the facility. It’s our premier building within the community. It’s where we can host big events. We want to see how we can make it run more effectively and efficiently.”
Reading from the report, the mayor stressed that the Mac would always cost the city money, but that it was “ an economic generator” in the sense that having the building means the city can host tournaments, trade shows, conferences and large scale entertainment events, all of which bring tourists and visitors to Timmins.
Coun. Mike Doody said he endorsed the idea of having a committee review the future of the building but added that if the committee is in favour of a major upgrade of the building, then the community had to be prepared to make a financial committment to the future of the Mac.
“There’s one thing I do know and you can’t sugar-coat it,” said Doody. “It’s going to mean commitment. It’s going to mean you’ll have to spend a few dollars. You’re going to have to put a little more of a workforce in there,” he added.
The mayor’s ad hoc committee expects to have a report by late summer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Spend the money and renovate/retrofit the arena (replace old seats, add more seating capacity, new centre ice scoreboard, new energy efficient refrigeration system, etc). It is long overdue. If the city and citizens are not willing to do this then you may as well tear it down as it will become more of a money pit. If that is the case, we need to get into the 21st century in terms of recreation and bite the bullet now for the future of our city - replace it with a multi ice pad complex and make half a million dollars a year instead of throwing it away.