Thursday, July 10, 2008

Canada Games costs double for P.E.I. town

Canada Games costs double for P.E.I. town

The cost of participating in the 2009 Canada Games has taken a big jump for the Town of Stratford.

'It just kept coming back with more and more and more money.'— Coun. Gary Clow

The Games will be a provincewide event. Stratford, just east of Charlottetown, is scheduled to host the baseball events.

But the town had to cut back on its plans when the cost to renovate the local diamond more than doubled.

"There seemed to be a lot of negotiating right up until the last minute to make this work," Coun. Gary Clow, parks and recreation chair, said Wednesday.

"We wanted very strongly to be part of the Canada Games but it just kept coming back with more and more and more money. And there's only so much money in the pot."

The Town of Cornwall had already balked at the $330,000 cost of building a new facility for Canada Games baseball.

Stratford, which needed to upgrade its diamond, was the second choice. The town was initially told its share of the cost to renovate MacNeil Memorial Field would be around $45,000.

Town stretched to the limit

But when the bids came in, the town discovered its share would be more than $100,000. Clow said there was no way the town was prepared to pay that.

It finally settled on a compromise — $80,000 — but that meant cutting back on some features.

"We're stretching the limit to go to even 80 [thousand] with them and not a penny more," said Clow.

"We're going to have Canada Games standard; some of the stuff coming will not be staying. It will be going when it's all over."

There will be no new scoreboard, and the bleachers will be removed at the end of the Games.

Construction began on Wednesday.

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