Posted by Editor on 06/28/10
The Burlington Community Services Committee told the Midweek Cycling Club in October of 2008, when the Club was bidding for the Road Nationals that they would support the 2010 and 2011 event with $70,000 in cash and support in kind towards the event for each year. However, recently a report from the city staff was presented to the City Council that the support be reduced to $3000 for each year. They also recommended that a decision to approve this be deferred to January of 2011, following final course route confirmation and the new development of a policy rolled out on city support for national and international events.
Both recommendations greatly affect the success of the 2011 event and the likelihood that it would be hosted in Burlington. To start with, the city said they would support the Midweek Cycling Club with $70,000 per year towards the event, and with that reduced to $3000 when cities like Toronto and Edmonton will offer $50,000 and $40,000 in support (respectively) towards national-calibre events it is likely that another city could offer better support. Secondly, if the decision is deferred to January 2011 then the likelihood of attracting other sponsors to an event only five months out would also be reduced and not in favour of the club.
Craig Fagan of the Midweek Cycling Club appealed to the Committee last Wednesday evening to ask the Council to reject the staff report with the new funding recommendations and the revised timeline, and asked them to stick to their commitment from 2008 and to make the decision now; not in January 2011. He was supported by several key members of the cycling community who are excited to see the 2011/2012 Canadian National Championships hosted in Burlington for 2011 and 2012.
Among the delegates who attended the meeting, representatives from the cycling community and the hotel industry were in agreement to Fagan's requests. Attendees included Oakville Cycling Club President Rob Narejko, Cycling4Women.ca editor Leigh Hargrove, OCA President Jim Crosscombe, past Olympian and CCA representative Sue Palmer, as well as representatives from Burlington Tourism and the Burlington Hotel Association.
The Committee meeting started at 6:30 that evening and by 7:00 the Nationals was on the table. Three hours of delegation, debate over their 2008 promise of support to the Midweek Cycling Club and ongoing council/staff feedback/discussions resulted in a motion to revise the city support of the cycling event to $50,000 per year, pending the Burlington Hotel Association's agreement to put $20,000 of their own funds towards the $50,000. The final Burlington Committee of Adjustment Hearing will be held from 5:30 - 11:30 pm on Monday, June 28th.
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