City running Big Ben, Marina 200 would cost taxpayers more: report

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – It would cost the City of Cornwall almost $50,000 more to operate the Big Ben Ski Hill and Marina 200 on its own than contracting out the service to a third party.

That’s according to a report to be reviewed by city councillors Monday night.

It follows a proposal in February to discontinue paying management fees to an outside company – in this case, Leader Sports.

But according to the report, it would cost $109,490 to run the ski hill and $87,514 to keep the marina afloat — $30,000 and $20,000 more, respectively, than the city is expected to pay right now for each service.

The report by Parks and Recreation Manager Jamie Fawthrop states the current setup is “the most cost effect method” because the revenue right now doesn’t even cover the cost of the private contractor’s services. A bigger operational cost for each service would entail a bigger subsidy from city taxpayers.

Council was ready in March to put Leaders Sports on notice that it would be taking up the management of both facilities in 2018 but that motion was deferred by a majority of councillors to get more information.

Councillors that wanted to move ahead regardless (Maurice Dupelle, Justin Towndale and David Murphy) believe the city should have control of how each facility is operated and how much users are charged – conditions it doesn’t control now.

Monday’s council meeting starts at 7 p.m.