Day At The Track

More racing dates for Kawartha Downs?

11:20 AM 17 Nov 2017 NZDT
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Scott McFadden, harness racing
Cavan Monaghan Mayor Scott McFadden is seeking Peterborough County Council's support to lobby for more horse racing dates at Kawartha Downs.

Peterborough County council will review a request to lobby the province for more harness racing dates for Kawartha Downs in Fraserville, Ont.

Cavan Monaghan Township Mayor Scott McFadden is asking for support to make harness racing in his municipality viable. Recently, the Ontario Racing Association denied Kawartha Downs’ request to hold 40 races next season instead of 18.

The facility will be losing its slot machines when the new Shorelines Casino opens in Peterborough late next year. Kawartha Downs wanted extra horse race dates to make up for the projected 85 per cent drop in revenue.

“With 85 per cent of their revenues currently coming through the slots for the Kawartha downs facility, leaving them at 18 race dates is essentially going to cause great hardship when it comes to ensuring long-term sustainability of harness racing at Kawartha Downs,” said McFadden.

County council will consider McFadden’s request to write to the ORA and Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal to reconsider the decision. County Warden Joe Taylor said the issue will be further discussed at the Dec. 6 meeting.

Council is also getting ready for budget deliberations and on Wednesday heard from several organizations seeking support including Fairhaven Longterm Care Centre in Peterborough which is seeking an additional $25,000, even though measures were taken this year to save tens of thousands of dollars. The County and City of Peterborough provide funding for the facility.

“The ministry has very bluntly said they do not fund inflation. Period,” said Fairhaven’s executive director Lionel Towns.

“We’ve combined two senior management positions; we deleted a senior management position. We’ve decreased consultants to next to nil.”

Another plea to open the purse strings came from the Peterborough Family Health Team. It has acquired six new physicians and needs almost $15,000 more for its recruitment budget.

“Unlike specialists who may work in a hospital environment and are paid a salary, our physicians are not paid a salary,” said executive director Lori Richey.

And public works says it needs close to $825,000 more to keep up its 2018 infrastructure program fixing roads and bridges.

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Reprinted with permission of Global News

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