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Funding found for jumbotron

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

The final price is stamped and Oshawa now has an idea of where the money will be coming from to pay for the new score clock system at the General Motors Centre.

Following negotiations with Media Resources, the company supplying the clock, the city reached a final deal of $762,310 for the new jumbotron. This is well below original estimates, which saw the new system costing upwards of $900,000.

The funding for the new system is coming from a variety of sources, and while it will see some capital projects deferred in 2016, Mayor John Henry says he is still pleased with the outcome.

“We wanted to try and make it up out of the existing budget and find opportunities,” he says, noting the city wanted to do its best without having to borrow funds.

The largest chunk of cash to pay for the new clock – more than $511,000 – will come from the city’s equipment replacement reserve. At of the end of March, the reserve had a balance of nearly $6 million, down from the approximate $11.8 million at the beginning of 2016.

The remaining funds will come from a trio of sources, including $90,000 from tax sale proceeds, a $70,000 reduction to the $300,000 allotted to the GM Centre in this year’s budget and $91,000 originally slated for replacing pay-and-display parking machines downtown.

“A number of projects…will be delayed or postponed for a while and in the meantime the jumbotron should be started to be assembled and up for the first of September,” Henry says.

Under the new shared marketing contract, signed with the Oshawa Generals as part of the new agreement for the system, Oshawa is set to receive sizeable chunks of shared marketing revenue from the OHL club.

Starting in June, the city started to receive $260,000 from the shared marketing agreement. That revenue remains fixed until May 2019, at which point it becomes a minimum amount.  According to the staff report, $70,000 of this revenue will be put back into replenishing the reserve used to pay for the system.

The report also notes that a pending property sale could help to accelerate the payback of the equipment reserve.

As part of the contact between the city and the Generals, the system must be hanging in the GM Centre prior to Oshawa’s home opener against the Peterborough Petes on Sept. 30.