Saint Andrews – The provincial government will provide $16,500 for much needed repairs to the roof of the W.C.O’Neill Arena Complex through the Regional Development Corporation’s Family and Youth Capital Assistance Program.
The announcement was made by Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames Monday morning, who recalled coming to Saint Andrews as a child to play at the arena, and described it as the heart and soul of one of the great facilities of Charlotte County.
“Investing in our communities is so important to all New Brunswickers so they can work, rest, and play in their communities-especially right here in Saint Andrews where there’s so much to do.
“Health care is very important in the minds of all New Brunswickers, and one of the biggest programs, if not the most important one, is the impact of quality of life on the people of our province.
“It’s important to encourage our residents and children to become more physically active. By investing in recreational construction we can improve the quality of life and the quality of services available to families and individuals who use this arena.”
He said the complex has been a vital component for year-round recreation in the town for more than 50 years, and it is important for the economy of the area.
Ames said the $16,500 will enable the town to complete the necessary roof repairs so it can continue to be a centre of community activities for many years to come.
He said the investment was made possible through the Regional Development Corporation’s Family and Youth Capital Assistance Program, which enables community groups, non-profit organizations, local service districts, and municipalities to obtain funding for youth and family-related projects such as playgrounds, sports, or recreational facilities, community centres, and equipment.
“We are working on ways to further enhance and sustain the programs at this facility…. Our funding, matched with an equal contribution from the town, will allow this arena to continue to be enjoyed by the entire community.”
Mayor Doug Naish recalled how Ames, the MLA for Charlotte-Campobello, visited Saint Andrews a short while ago for a town hall meeting at the arena complex to talk about what the local community needed and what the provincial government could do to help.
Following that he said Ames met privately with town council and one of the things which came out of that meeting was that they all looked up and told him the roof leaked.
“Within two or three weeks of that I got a phone call from John saying that he thought he’d found a solution to our problem, at least in the short term.”
He thanked the provincial government for its quick assistance noting the complex has always been, and continues to be a hub of community activity with recreation, theatre, business, tourism and town government and is an asset the town cannot do without.