Sunday, January 18, 2009

Haldimand "Councillor Grice states Dunnville Arena is a Want not a Need"

The following article written by Karen Best was the third in a series of stories about the ongoing issue of the Dunnville and Cayuga Arenas.

I must say that I did attend the consultants open house and at no time did this consultant say that Cayuga needed an arena before Dunnville.

So what is very interesting is that the consultant in his report stated that both Dunnville and Cayuga in fact need a new arena. Council and staff have also read this report, yet it looks to me like Dunnville is not in the running for a new arena!

Mayor Trainer in her interview with Karen Best a few weeks ago stated that Cayuga will probably get a new arena before Dunnville. Now Councillor Grice has stated that Cayuga "needs" an arena and Dunnville "wants" an arena.

So my question would be: What has changed since the consultant (that was paid $50,000.00) completed his report?

County seeks community arena fundraising target
Posted 2 days ago

Over the next few weeks, members of arena committees will be asked how much their community can raise for a new facility.

"We thought it was important to sit down with the committees to find out what they feel is reasonable," said Hugh Hanly, Haldimand County general manager of community services.

"We need this information to make proper recommendations to council," he added.
Hanly, leisure services manager Rick Lane and councillors Don Ricker and Lorne Boyko will meet with members of the Dunnville Sport and Leisure Project committee on Jan. 21.

"I'm hoping they have a reasonable sense about what will be realistic for the community to raise,"said Boyko.

Dave Dunham, who chairs the Dunnville group, said he was willing to meet with county staff and the two councillors as long as fundraising was the only item on their agenda.

In February, Hanly will present council a report with recommendations about the Dunnville and Cayuga arenas. Last spring, a consultant recommended new arenas in both towns.

Hanly said each building would cost about $8 million. Financial modelling in the report will be based on what the individual communities feel they can contribute, he added.

Referring to the Caledonia twin pad and library complex, he said the community fundraising group committed to raising $2 million. This amounted to 16 per cent of the $12.4 million project cost.

This kind of fundraising is not done by fish fries and golf tournaments, noted Hanly.

After the first Haldimand County council decided to submit a Caledonia twin pad arena for provincial and federal funding in 2001, the Caledonia group began fundraising in earnest.

Clark Companies donated $1 million and several other corporations made significant donations.

For Hagersville arena improvements, a community group agreed to cover 50 per cent of the costs.

The outcome of upcoming fundraising discussions in Dunnville and Cayuga will probably set a percentage level for community partnerships, said Hanly.

In general, fundraising capacities in the two towns will add clarity to his report recommendations, he added.

A 2005 building audit determined that at least $3 million was required in total for floor, roof and interior and exterior work on the two aging buildings.

At a recent council meeting, Coun. Craig Grice spoke about a new initiative to set aside $109,000 a year for arenas.

"A reserve is the right thing to do," he said. "We know Cayuga needs a new arena and Dunnville wants one."

Both Dunham and Cayuga Think Rink co-chairs Rick Beale and John Metcalfe hope their town is the lucky one.

In a recent interview, Dunham wanted to provide more information related to a Chronicle story in the Jan. 9 edition. He said he was not asked to meet with Caledonia arena committee members last spring. Other Dunnville committee members attended the Caledonia presentation held in June because he was unable to attend.

Dunham also noted that the Maple Creek Leisureplex group, which is incorporated, was further ahead than the Caledonia group when Haldimand County was established eight years ago.

The leisureplex group did not fold and has applied for a charitable number, he added.

In allowing the Caledonia project to go ahead, the new Haldimand County council was not acknowledging what the Maple Creek committee had already done, said Dunham.

He also pointed out that Boyko knew the group was looking at a smaller parcel of privately owned land off Ramsey Drive.

In response to some of Dunham's comments, Boyko said he struck an ad hoc committee shortly after the audit identified expensive repairs for the Dunnville arena. He told members that it could be perceived that he had a conflict of interest so he asked group members to take over. His intention was to measure interest in a new arena and to encourage residents to launch the campaign.

Boyko declined to provide further comment on the property issue. "(Dunham) knows I'm a phone call away for anything," the councillor said.

When asked why he did not promote construction of a new Dunnville arena when the new county was established, Boyko said the Caledonia group was so furthest down the road with their plans. In 2001, Dunnville's arena was in the best condition of all four and Caledonia's rink was in the worst shape, he noted.

Article ID# 1390275


  1. I hope that everyone is paying attention to this absolute bullshit that is going on. This council is not going to be able to make an unbiased decision on who will get a new arena.

    The consultants report clearly indicated that both communities need a new arena. The posturing of the Mayor and now Grice to clearly admit that Dunnville will not be getting a new arena is criminal, did they changed the consultants report.

    Donna you are right that the residents of Dunnville has pissed off council members. They are on record in the newspapers. This is a serious concern to me. It looks like we should have kept our mouths shut, and let the bullies run this town.

    I hope that everyone remembers this when the election comes around.

    Each and every single member of council needs to be replaced!

  2. Councillor Grice is out of line!

  3. To Mayor Trainer and Mr, Grice you have no problem asking for Dunnville help when you need it in Calidonia ,come shopping here ,support our tournments , we were even asked to donate to the Calidonia arena .Four ice pads in a fifteen min, drive of each other five if you count the old pad in Calidonia .Hagersville arena refitted paved parking lot ,new soccer park in Caldonia and New arena new libuary,and what has Dunnville seen in Recreation not one thing ,the only new things in Dunnville were paid by donations and volinteer workers,this is personal and it will get ugly if Dunnville is told to wait again

  4. Boyko and Ricker you did not protect Dunnvilles interest in 2001 you gave it all to Calidonia and Hagerville, and now we pay the price .We are told by council and staff we have to be equal and fair in the County, so tell us millions of dollars spent in Recreation in west Halidmand inwhich no one from Dunnville uses. and how much spent in Dunnville in Recreation in 8 years ? almost nothing when you compare.Well done Lorne and Don but we are getting a giant Mudcat

  5. When will people ever realize that both Trainer and Grice are just parrots repeating whatever someone puts into their ear on a daily basis. Neither of them qualifies to be in the positions they are and in fact are unable of an original thought themselves.

    Has Grice still got that ridiculous looking Canadian Flag coat? Who's he trying to kid?

    I can't remember where I read this lately but didn't Grice say he'd vote no for a new O.P.P contract? He probably said that to impress some people in Caledonia and forgets to show a plan of how he will find the money to create a new police force and maintain it. With Cayuga's and Dunnville's tax money?

    The guy is an idiot. People should wake up and never vote him in again.

  6. Grice couldn't remember what he read let alone what has said. I am sure that if this causes too much of a stir that he will say that Karen was not telling the truth. He lies through his teeth!

    This is serious when council members have given the go ahead to spend our money on consultants and then don't believe the report. This is not a first, look at the parking study, it is also just sitting doing nothing.

    I have just fiqured out that council and staff are using consultants as the scapegoats. This council couldn't make a simple decision if their life depended on it. When was the last time they in fact made a decision without a consultant or a staffer giving them a report!

  7. Can anyone explain to me what Grice is trying to accomplish by sticking his nose in where it does not belong? Does he think by making inflamatory statements such as these, it will assist in the approval of future projects designated for Caledonia? I thought Grice had enough on his plate, with all the excuses he has to dream up to defend some of the poor decisions Haldimand County has made over the past three years.
    It clearly illustrates to what lengths this council will go to remain dysfunctional. Craig, focus on Caledonia. Don't worry about sticking your nose into Dunnville's business. It won't help you when it comes to be Caledonia's turn.

  8. lmao!

    Get this!

    Grice is trying to now delay necessary MTO repairs on the by-pass bridge this spring because he suggests it will be bad for Caledonia businesses. What the hell?

    I thought he said the routing of traffic to the bypass during the old bridge repairs last year would be bad for business. And now that traffic will be held up on the bypass by lights and therefore ending up with more traffic on Argyle is bad for business too?

    make up your mind Grice!!

    (seriously, is this guy for real? or does he just want to see his name in the papers?)

    How did he ever get elected anyways? I'm curious.

  9. I certainly don't agree with Grice but Donna could you explain your statement that what he said is criminal? Doesn't he had the right to speak his view?

    "The posturing of the Mayor and now Grice to clearly admit that Dunnville will not be getting a new arena is criminal, did they changed the consultants report."

  10. Thanks for your comments.

    I would like to respond to the above poster in regards to saying that what Grice and the Mayor said was "criminal". I don't recall saying this, but you do bring up a very good point.

    If in fact Grice and the Mayor base their votes on their "personal" opinions, then that would in my opinion be "criminal". As an election is nearing this would be posturing for votes! Don't forget this is the first 4 year term, and they are already on the campaign trail!

    The county spent $50,000.00 dollars on a report that clearly states that both "Dunnville" and Cayuga need a new arena. If they both ignore this report to me that is clearly "criminal"!!!!

  11. I would also like to respond to the question: Does Grice not have the right to speak his view?

    My answer is: Yes he does, but in this case his view goes against the consultants report. Just to add that the consultant that was paid $50,000.00 dollars is an "expert" in the area of Arenas, Councillor Grice is not!

    It would be different if there was no consultant and council and staff themselves did the work that was done, then council could have their personal view, but in this case it is a matter of gathering information from the community as to who can raise what funds, and of course the big question: can Haldimand County afford it!

  12. this is about long term planning , I am not defending council or staff but serious mistakes were make by this past councils. No long term planning ,when they did make a commitment to something did they look at the long tern effects ,like how do we build an arena in the east if we spend it all in the west.With respect dunnnville citizens asked to have one arena in the east and one in the west during the calidonia debate for a new arena .if we had done that we would be talking about one arena replacement and not two.

  13. Just what plans were in place when the Caledonia Arena was built? Council has just now voted to put aside $109,000.00 ayear in to a fund for Arenas? Some of these council members have been on council way too long. I will agree with the poster that said there has been no long term planning, it seems to be the only reason to me why we are now in the postion of having to choose one community over another when they both need new Arenas. Until the people of Haldimand stop believing the lies they are told during the election campaigning we will have the same old shit! When was the last time anyone attended a town hall meeting held by their council member? I can say that more than one on council today promised three years ago that they would do just that, have town hall meetings and listen to the people. Oh and what about Mayor Trainer, she says she is the "peoples mayor", I don't think so!


    A great deal has been written over the past several months about the need for a new arena for the communities of Dunnville and Cayuga. As a resident of Dunnville I will limit my comments to the community in which I live, but I would suggest that there is truth in these words for Cayuga residents as well.

    Since late November 28th, 2008 I have written to my councilor, the mayor, our MPP, and our MP on four separate occasions regarding the proposed arena in Dunnville. I received an acknowledgment of receipt of my email from my the office of my MPP, Mr. Toby Barrett, after the first letter, and an acknowledgment that my email had been forwarded to another department from my MP's office, Ms. Diane Finley, after the fourth note, but have yet to hear from either Mr. Boyko or Ms. Trainer.

    If this is the level of responsiveness that exists in our politicians then they have betrayed the public trust entrusted to them when elected.

    The Dunnville arena project has been on the table, for approximately 15 years, armed with consultants reports and studies that verify the need for a new facility, with local fundraising already underway, and with the support of the community, if our local government is onboard, ground could be broken in 2009.

    The federal budget contained a $500-million plan for recreational facilities, in addition to a $2-billion fund that offers municipalities low-interest loans to help pay their one-third portion of a project's cost. So if the funding and financing of Dunnville's arena project isn't a barrier, why can't we get started?

    Our community has been overlooked for infrastructure investment for many years, but with the current commitment of the federal government to help offset the impact of the global recession, Dunnville has an opportunity to play catch up.

    We need to hear where our local politicians stand on this project in clear terms so the residents of Dunnville know where they stand and can make informed decisions when the time comes for the next municipal election.

    Alan Datema.


  15. Thanks for your comments, and thanks to the person who posted the letter to the editor!