SUSSEX (GNB) – As of 2018, the contribution of neighbouring local service districts toward the PotashCorp Civic Centre in Sussex will be increased to support the facility’s long-term viability.

“I would like to begin by thanking the chair of the PotashCorp Civic Centre, Bridget Ryan, the board of directors and the staff for the hard work they have been doing to inform residents and garner support for an increase in financial contributions from the communities,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle.

The contribution of residents of Studholm, Sussex, Cardwell and Waterford local service districts will be increased to 2.5 cents per $100 of assessment on their local tax rate from the current one cent.

“Staff and I have reviewed the financial information provided by the civic centre,” said Rousselle. “I have also considered the feedback received from the public, local service district advisory committees, and taken into consideration the resolutions passed by the three municipal councils. I also received more than 100 letters overwhelmingly in support, including from the local MLA, to increase the tax rate in the local service districts to help save this facility.”

The decision is contingent on three changes to the way the centre and its board operate:

  • The board must broaden its membership to include people with expertise in fields such as accounting, law and business administration.
  • The civic centre’s fiscal year must switch to the calendar year to align with the municipalities and local service districts.
  • Quarterly financial updates must be provided to the minister, and the budget and audited financial statements must be submitted annually to member communities and posted on the centre’s website.

“I have come to the conclusion that supporting the long-term viability of the PotashCorp Civic Centre would be in the best interests of the communities and the population it serves, given the support demonstrated by everyone involved,” said Rousselle. “The well-being of New Brunswickers is a priority and there is no doubt in my mind that this facility will support year-round access to first-class health and fitness facilities and programs for all age groups.”

“We are pleased to work with the province to ensure this important facility will now have the financial support and governance framework it needs to be sustainable,” said Bridget Ryan, chair of the centre’s board of directors. “Our goal is to serve the residents of the region through continued and stable access to quality fitness and wellness programming.”