Man­ning makes the pitch

Con­cep­tion Bay North towns catch fed­eral funds for recre­ation

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BILL BOW­MAN

Flanked by the may­ors of Up­per Is­land Cove, Har­bour Grace and Carbonear, Se­na­tor Fabian Man­ning an­nounced fed­eral fund­ing for var­i­ous projects in all three CBN towns last Tues­day, Feb. 23.

Up­per Is­land Cove is re­ceiv­ing $91,329 to help up­grade its busy recre­ation cen­tre; Har­bour Grace will use its $33,329 to help ex­tend its mi­nor soc­cer com­plex; and Carbonear has ac­cepted over $100,000 for a her­itage tourism project. See re­lated story.

Man­ning said Up­per Is­land Cove plans to use its grant to up­grade its recre­ation cen­tre. “ Those ren­o­va­tions will in­clude re-shin­gling the roof and in­stalling new win­dows, ex­te­rior doors and sid­ing.” Har­bour Grace will use its $33,720 to ex­pand its soc­cer com­plex. Fund­ing for the recre­ation projects in Up­per Is­land Cove and Har­bour Grace is be­ing pro­vided un­der the Recre­ational In­fra­struc­ture Canada Pro­gram (RInC).

The RInC pro­gram is pro­vid­ing $500 mil­lion to help ren­o­vate and up­grade recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties in com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try. It is help­ing to en­sure lo­cal fam­i­lies can con­tinue to use their lo­cal recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties.

“ We all know our recre­ation cen­tres and soc­cer pitches are the heart and soul of our com­mu­ni­ties,” Man­ning sug­gested. They not only pro­vide a place for peo­ple to get out and get mov­ing, but they make up an im­por­tant piece of our so­cial fab­ric. Par­ents, chil­dren, se­niors, ath­letes and sports en­thu­si­asts come to­gether to ex­er­cise and be ac­tive, but also to be part of our com­mu­nity.”

Up­per Is­land Cove mayor Ge­orge Adams agreed, de­scrib­ing the recre­ation cen­tre in his com­mu­nity as a “ bee­hive of ac­tiv­ity.” Aside from ath­letic events, the build­ing has be­come a venue for con­certs and other cul­tural events.

Re­fer­ring to the project, mayor Adams said he hopes “this will en­hance the pos­si­bil­ity of many more func­tions in this build­ing for many years to come.”

Commending Se­na­tor Man­ning, ACOA and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment for “ hav­ing the fore­sight to in­vest in recre­ation in ru­ral New­found­land and Labrador,” mayor Adams sug­gested without such in­vest­ment small towns would not be able to af­ford to pro­vide such recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties.

Point­ing out, “there is a di­rect cor­re­la­tion be­tween phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and over­all health,” he said, “this will go a long way to­wards that end.

The mayor also pointed out that, in­clud­ing the fed­eral con­tri­bu­tion, the to­tal al­lo­ca­tion of money for this project would be in the range of $273,000, the bal­ance be­ing pro­vided by the pro­vin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

While the main fo­cus of this project fund­ing will be the build­ing’s ex­te­rior, the mayor noted work is also needed on the in­side. “Come Septem­ber, when this project is com­pleted, we will be go­ing knock­ing on doors in or­der to ac­cess more fund­ing. So keep your door open Se­na­tor Man­ning, we’re com­ing!”

Re­gional in na­ture

Mayor Don Coombs re­called in 1992 they con­structed a soc­cer pitch be­hind St. Fran­cis School and started to de­velop a mi­nor soc­cer pro­gram — a pro­gram that now in­cludes some 500 young male and fe­male soc­cer play­ers. Stress­ing the point that the fa­cil­ity was not only for the town, Coombs said, “we are re­gional in na­ture.” Like the Har­bour Grace sta­dium and Carbonear swim­ming pool, he said the soc­cer com­plex is a re­gional fa­cil­ity, there for the bet­ter­ment of all our com­mu­ni­ties.

Stress­ing the im­por­tance of “max­i­miz­ing the gov­ern­ment money that is avail­able for such fa­cil­i­ties, the mayor said all three lev­els of gov­ern­ment, fed­eral, pro­vin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal are shar­ing in the project val­ued at ap­prox­i­mately $101,000.

Al­most 20 years af­ter co-host­ing the suc­cess­ful 1992 New­found­land and Labrador Sum­mer Games, the towns of Har­bour Grace and Carbonear plan to put in a bid for the 2012 pro­vin­cial sum­mer games. Coombs said the lat­est in­vest­ment in the field, which was part of the orig­i­nal games’ in­fra­struc­ture will only help strengthen their chances this time around.

Be­hind scenes

Ad­mit­ting he is the one who gets to go around an­nounc­ing fed­eral fund­ing for such projects, Se­na­tor Man­ning ac­knowl­edged, “the tremendous amount of work that goes on be­hind the scenes by vol­un­teers work­ing on their applications for fund­ing for such projects.” He said the peo­ple who work be­hind the scenes con­trib­ute to the economies in their towns and re­gions.

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