Car­bon­ear pulls out of Targa race

Towns says fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity too great at this time

The Compass - - NEWS - BY MELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

Targa New­found­land con­firmed for The Com­pass last week the Town of Car­bon­ear will no longer be a stop on the pop­u­lar rac­ing tour.

The Con­cep­tion Bay North town was sched­uled to be one of three stops in the fi­nal day of com­pe­ti­tion, which sees rac­ers run rally cars through sharp turns, along gravel roads and nar­row streets in se­lect mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Robert Gian­nou, Targa pres­i­dent, said the town was dropped from the sched­ule, but it was not the de­ci­sion of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“We ap­plied to the town in Novem­ber to have the con­tract re­newed,” he ex­plained. “(But) coun­cil de­cided not to go ahead.”

Targa of­fi­cials were dis­ap­pointed in the de­ci­sion, with Gian­nou cit­ing, “Car­bon­ear has run the best stage in Targa for the last two of four years.”

“We are some­what dis­ap­pointed, but we will be ap­ply­ing to be back next year,” he con­tin­ued.

Dur­ing a round ta­ble dis­cus­sion, Car­bon­ear Mayor Ge­orge Butt Jr. said the coun­cil de­cided to with­draw due to the cost and man­power it would take to run it.

“We com­pleted our four-year con­tract last year,” he said. “It would end up cost­ing the town between $5,000 and $6,000, plus time lost (by town em­ploy­ees).”

Butt said it took nine months to de­ter­mine if the project would be fi­nan­cially fea­si­ble for the town. The new coun­cil, voted in last Septem­ber, had to wait for the bud­get, which had to be con­sid­ered first.

“A lot of peo­ple don’t re­al­ize how labour in­ten­sive it is. I didn’t re­al­ize it,” said the mayor.

Al­though they are out this year, there is a pos­si­bil­ity the town will re­con­sider next year.

“I’m not say­ing an­other year wouldn’t work,” Butt added. “It’s just, right now, we’re go­ing to bow out and let some­one else take it,”

This year’s event will now have two stages in Bri­gus, and the lunch ini­tially sched­uled for the Knights of Colum­bus in Car­bon­ear has been moved to the nearby Fresh­wa­ter Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

For other de­tails, in­clud­ing sched­ule and routes, visit www.tar­ganew­found­land.com.

Com­pass file photo

A lineup of cars at Targa in Car­bon­ear dur­ing a pre­vi­ous year’s event.

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