Cupids res­i­dents vote ‘no’ to Le­gacy Cen­tre move

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The peo­ple of Cupids have spo­ken and they don’t want to see the town move its of­fices into the Cupids Le­gacy Cen­tre.

In a plebiscite Thurs­day, vot­ers marked no on their bal­lets 232 times that would’ve seen the town take own­er­ship of the multi-mil­lion dollar build­ing and oc­cupy the space pre­vi­ously used by the Bac­calieu Trail Her­itage Cor­po­ra­tion.

There were 113 peo­ple who voted in favour of the move. Some 57 per cent of the town’s pop­u­la­tion ex­er­cised their right to vote.

“It was a bit dis­ap­point­ing, but not un­ex­pected,” said Cupids Mayor Harold Ak­er­man.

He said those against the move took full ad­van­tage of the ex­tra time to knock on doors and get their mes­sage out to the peo­ple.

Since en­ter­ing the public realm, the is­sue of mov­ing to the Cupids Le­gacy Cen­tre has sparked heated de­bate amongst res­i­dents and out­siders alike. Many have ap­plauded coun­cil for seek­ing a mod­ern build­ing, while oth­ers voiced their dis­ap­proval cit­ing that the town could not af­ford such a ven­ture.

The vote came a month af­ter a highly in­tense public meet­ing in which of­fi­cials pushed the orig­i­nal vote date.

Built just five years ago, the Cupids Le­gacy Cen­tre would have given Cupids a mod­ern fa­cil­ity with which to run the town out of.

Now, there are de­ci­sions to make.

The Town of Cupids has just un­der $400,000 re­ceived through gov­ern­ment grants ear­marked for a new town of­fice. The de­ci­sion now be­comes whether to con­tinue to build the new build­ing or stay in the com­mu­nity cen­tre and re-fun­nel that money to wa­ter and sewer up­grades for the com­mu­nity.

If the vote had’ve gone the town’s way, wa­ter up­grades were ex­pected to be the des­ti­na­tion for the gov­ern­ment money.

“We could have done a lot of things,” said Ak­er­man. “(The vote) tight­ens up the bud­get. We have to do what we have to do.”

The vote does not af­fect how the coun­cil will gov­ern the town. The mayor said his coun­cil would re­turn to the ta­ble in the com­ing weeks and de­cide what the next step will be.

“Coun­cil will plan its course,” said Ak­er­man. “We have a town to run and a job to do.”

“We could have done a lot of things. (The vote) tight­ens up the bud­get. We have to do what we have to do.”

Mayor Harold Ak­er­man

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