Credit Union chief has concerns about rec centre closure

  • Aug. 25, 2008 6:00 a.m.

Among those concerned about how the north end communities will be affected by the closure of the Massett Recreation Centre is Mike Tarr, the chief executive of Northern Savings Credit Union. Mr. Tarr said the rec centre, with its swimming pool, gym and other facilities, was an important feature of Masset and that its closure will be felt by residents across the islands and local businesses. “As small communities lose these sorts of amenities, people start to have another thought about where they will live,” he said, adding that credit union staff in Masset have told him that there are people planning to leave because of the loss. “It makes it difficult for every business in town.” Mr. Tarr said the credit union would be willing to do whatever it can to help save the rec centre if it sees that there is a good, solid plan in place, but so far no one has approached him. The provincial government should also be approached for assistance, he said, because it’s in everyone’s interest that Masset continue to have a swimming pool and rec centre. Trevor Jarvis, vice-chair of the Greater Massett Development Corp, the organization which owns and operates the rec centre, said it has sent requests for funding to the federal and provincial governments for the new rec centre it is hoping to build. It is also approaching other sources in the search to raise the $10-million it estimates will be needed to build and start up a new facility. The GMDC decided in July to close down the existing rec centre, built by the military in 1972, because of skyrocketing heating costs and shrinking income from its trust fund investments. It is hoping to replace it with a smaller and much more energy efficient facility. Mr. Jarvis said GMDC board members will be meeting this week with the QCI recreation commission and representatives from Old Massett to discuss what kind of rec programs can be offered in the community this winter.