A mat­ter of value for the money

Northern Pen - - Sports - BY MARK SQUIBB THE PACKET CLARENVILLE, N.L.

I think the re­view of the East­link Events Cen­tre (EEC) in Clarenville ranks as one of my favourite sto­ries from this year.

I think it’s an ex­am­ple of the in-depth, in­clu­sive con­tent that SaltWire Net­work is aim­ing for.

The story laid bare the fi­nances of one of the town’s most ex­pen­sive un­der­tak­ings, and begged the ques­tion, is the cost worth it?

I think the facts were laid out in a com­pre­hen­sive and co­he­sive man­ner, with coun­cilor and fi­nance chair Paul Til­ley act­ing as a voice to ex­plain the num­bers and why the town feels jus­ti­fied in sup­port­ing a struc­ture that loses about $500,000 an­nu­ally and makes up just un­der 10 per cent of the town’s bud­get.

Num­bers from the past decade in­cluded showed this is a trend, and not sim­ply a bad sea­son.

The story also had a for­ward­look­ing an­gle, with both Til­ley and EEC man­ager Bran­don Rear­don ex­plain­ing how coun­cil is look­ing to make the build­ing and pro­gram­ming more cost ef­fi­cient in the fu­ture.

Sup­port­ing sto­ries of­fered a brief his­tory of the EEC – even giv­ing brief de­tails of the very first hockey game played in the sta­dium – as well as the town’s re­cre­ation bud­get at a glance.

I think this story mat­tered to peo­ple be­cause it is their tax dol­lars go­ing to sup­port the EEC, whether they ever step in­side the build­ing or not.

I’d like to do more sto­ries like this. They do take time, and do not sim­ply hap­pen overnight. Two, even three in­ter­views may be re­quired, pho­tos need to be taken, and doc­u­ments re­quested, and for that rea­son I think it ranks as a high value story.

Mark Squibb

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