'Very interesting' year; Corner Brook’s mayor looking to future

Cory Hurley
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CORNER BROOK — Now in the final year of his current term as Corner Brook’s mayor, Neville Greeley still has a desire to lead the city beyond September’s election.

The mayor maintains he will run for a second term in the municipal general election slated for Sept. 29. He says council was able to fulfill most of the objectives it set out slightly more than three years ago for his first tenure at the helm.

“I am very happy with the way things have turned out,” Greeley told The Western Star on Monday. “We are moving the City of Corner Brook forward, and I would just like to stay on and work with council to continue that.”

In his annual address to the Kinsmen Club of Corner Brook, the mayor said the current council still has nine months to fulfill the obligations and commitment it set in 2009 to help shape the city’s future.

“The past four years have had challenges and rewards, and each member of council has had their own unique perspective,” he said. “Despite our differences, I know each member of council shared a common vision to make Corner Brook a prosperous and growing community and a great place to live, work, play and raise a family.”

Greeley said council has strived to maintain a stable footing financially, especially while facing the challenge of designing and constructing a new water treatment processing facility. Affordability was the major obstacle in the years leading to the recent start of the construction of the plant, and the design build model saved close to $15 million, he said. Work will continue on the project in 2013.

Final approval of the Integrated Municipal Sustainability Plan is expected this spring. It has been in the making for years and will help guide future councils in dealing with land use issues and development, as well as social, cultural and environmental factors.


Infrastructure needs

Corner Brook, a city of less than 20,000, has been facing major capital infrastructure needs, such as the water treatment facility and pending sewage treatment.

Over the next 18 months, the city will be monitoring one of its two main sewage outfalls. It will submit reports to the Department of Environment to help determine the actual treatment requirements and timelines to meet the federal regulations.

The city has also shifted its focus to water conservation — proactively working with local businesses and residents to ensure water is only used for essential purposes. The city negotiated a deal with Barry Group Inc. to realize major savings in water usage, according to Greeley, and is in discussions with Corner Brook Pulp and Paper to implement a leak reduction and usage agreement.

The mayor said the city’s financial position remains strong, with a net debt servicing ratio for 2012 forecasted to be below 13.5 per cent. That will enable investment towards the city’s share of capital costs, further reducing the city’s borrowing requirements, he said.

Greeley realizes the importance of growth initiated by private sector investment. He said council aims to create an environment allowing for and supporting economic development created by the private industry. He said there has also been significant interest from a number of investors to establish new businesses in the city.


Not suitable

During his address, Greeley referred to the potential of a Costco being established in Deer Lake. He said discussions with Costco were ongoing for several years in Corner Brook, but the company decided it was not the suitable market.

The city has received much criticism over the years for the lack of business development and attractions, something the mayor considers unjust.

“I think you have to temper your expectations,” he said. “It’s pointless for one business to come in if another business will close up.

“We are doing what we can as a city to make it attractive for businesses to want to move here. But businesses are only going to come here when they can come here and make a profit. That, sometimes, is totally out of our control.”

Greeley also told the Kinsmen members it has been a “very interesting” term of office. Often faced with tough decisions, sometimes unpopular ones, he said each one is well debated and researched.

“Our decisions have always been based on what we feel is the best decision for our constituents,” he said.



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Recent comments

  • Devil's Advocate
    January 10, 2013 - 09:44

    It does not matter to the Mayor if he gets re-elected. He already had 4 years of fulfilling his purpose... to screw over Corner Brook. I'd like to know how they justify raising property taxes so much in a dieing town? Seriously, how do they justify it?

  • Jackie Barrett
    January 10, 2013 - 06:56

    Tony or anyone unhappy about Costco's unwise decision not to come to Corner Brook, I created a Facebook group yesterday entitled "Bring Costco Wholesale to Corner Brook" if you're interested in joining. The temporary URL for the group is https://www.facebook.com/groups/434103426660933/ Secondly, please feel free to visit the Facebook "Costco Canada" page at https://www.facebook.com/CostcoCanada?ref=ts&fref=ts and let them know how you feel about Costco not coming to Corner Brook.

  • Ryan
    January 10, 2013 - 06:12

    I'd rather have a mayor and coucil who will actually fight to get new businesses and services here and fail than one who simply tells his community to "temper their expectations" and expect nothing.

  • Tony
    January 09, 2013 - 18:05

    Mr. Greely do the citizens of Corner Brook a favor and not run in the next election. Our municipal tax is to high. Our roads are deplorable. Our winter snow clearing is the pits. We have to many pet projects like the new saltos gymnastic building scheduled and the Pepsi Studio new floor . We leased floor space at our new city hall to the Arts community for 1.00 a year for 5 years. What's up with that? The mayor and councilors. decide to raise their salaries to help out with expenses in the city. The city did not do much to keep the Corner Brook Royals here and of course we now lost Costco to Deer Lake. Mr. Greely you got nothing to crow about. Leave now!!!

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    January 09, 2013 - 12:41

    @ Mr. Bennett - I can see the headlines now - Corner Brook Election 2013 - Dumb and Dumber The Sequel !

  • Shawn
    January 09, 2013 - 10:12

    This simply proves my point that Mr. Mayor is completely out of touch with local reality. Mr. Greeley, you and your entire council will never again get a vote from me, and I suspect most other citizens feel the same after almost four years of your madness. City services have never been so terrible and seem to get worse on a daily basis. You and your council have made enemies from most every area of the city, from the firefighters, the students, the Veterans, bus riders, property tax payers, poll tax payers, a large chunk of the business community, and your own employees. Who is left to vote for you aside from your few protected business people? For me, If a crew of the east side cats ran against you, I'd vote for the cats.

  • crabby
    January 09, 2013 - 09:19

    Mr.Greedy, as a senior citizen on a very fixed income, i'm sad to say my tax bill has now gone up for last year over 300.00$.You have never had my vote, nor will you get it this time, nor your quite councillors.

  • allie
    January 08, 2013 - 17:04

    The Costco ship has already sailed for Corner Brook....It's nice to see the Mayor of Deer Lake having enough vision to suport his community and help it grow.If we could only get the retired people out of coucil and stop treating Corner Brook like a retirment home and get some fresh young minds in there...and start n treating our city like a business and move it into this century Corner Brook would be a better more prosperous place...good bye Greeley

    • Jack
      January 08, 2013 - 20:55

      Allie, how do you know that Corner Brook is getting a Costco Wholesale when the company claims this city is not a suitable market? However, with many Corner Brookers flocking to Costco when they visit other major Atlantic Canadian cities such as Halifax, Moncton, or St. John's, I think that Corner Brook is a great location for a Costco. Secondly, since Corner Brook is halfway between Halifax and St. John's, they should get a Costco without a doubt. That way, I won't have to visit these two cities again just to buy bulk or get their famous Kirkland brand items.

  • jon
    January 08, 2013 - 16:16

    HAHA! Enjoy it now Greeley cause its your 1st and last term as our mayor.

  • Wayne R Bennett
    January 08, 2013 - 16:16

    Dee, It was my understanding that it will another contest between Greeley and Pender.

  • Jack
    January 08, 2013 - 14:53

    About Corner Brook not being a so-called "Suitable Market" for Costco, believe it or not, there are similar sized cities in the Atlantic Provinces with a Costco Wholesale. Take for example, Canada's smallest capital city, Fredericton. While Fredericton has less than 50,000 people, they have a Costco Wholesale outlet. Therefore, if Corner Brook is not suitable for a Costco, so should Fredericton. Time for a "Bring a Costco to Corner Brook" campaign, and we will not rest until we get a Costco.

  • ryan
    January 08, 2013 - 14:40

    sept 30 will be even more interesting to see greeley gone c.b.will be a better place without that dud.

  • Dee
    January 08, 2013 - 12:59

    For gods and Cornerbrooks sake lets hope there is someone to run against Greedie Neville, if he has no one to run against him and he is re-elected he might get the feeling he is doing a good job and continue down his path to nowhere. Sorry dude you are not the man to run this city.

    • Jack
      January 08, 2013 - 14:58

      I also notice that Neville Greeley is constantly displaying negative and defeatist attitudes and his quote stating "We are doing what we can as a city to make it attractive for businesses to want to move here. But businesses are only going to come here when they can come here and make a profit. That, sometimes, is totally out of our control." That negative attitude, especially from Corner Brook's most powerful leader, is a reason why this city keeps going downhill. In addition, anytime people raise criticisms about the lack of attractions and economic development, Mayor Greeley chooses to fight back instead of taking this criticism and doing something about it like a true mayor does. This means that Neville Greeley is suffering from "Derek Wheeler Syndrome", named after an old school Degrassi character well known for blaming others for his problems. Since Greeley's negative and defeatist attitudes proven from this quote at the root of Corner Brook's problems, I agree that he is not fit to be Corner Brook's Mayor after October 2013. At the end of the day, the sooner Neville Greeley and his "Derek Wheeler" type attitude is removed as Corner Brook's Mayor, the better this city will be.

  • Jack
    January 08, 2013 - 10:09

    Mayor Greeley, you claim that Corner Brook is not a suitable market for a Costco Wholesale outlet. However, since most Corner Brookers typically shop at Costco in St. John's, Halifax, or other Atlantic Canadian centres, I believe that you're lying to us. Besides, when Charlottetown and Deer Lake will get a Costco soon, but not Corner Brook, either Greeley is not telling the truth or something is wrong. Time to create a petition campaign to bring Costco to Corner Brook.

  • Allie
    January 08, 2013 - 09:29

    Mr Greeley you sir will not get my vote i wish we had someone in place who would give Corner Brook A chance for godsakes we can't even get in on costco because noone wants to allow anything here Afaid of change will hopefully the Major gets changed....

  • Randall Hodge
    January 08, 2013 - 08:14

    Greeley is out to lunch if he thinks that Corner Brookers will re-elect him. For one, the bitter scars of his council's handling on the firefighter labor unrest is still in the memory of many in the city. What I've seen in recent years in my property tax skyrocket while many of our young folks are seeking to live in neighboring towns in the Bay of Islands and Humber Valley because Corner Brook offers nothing more than poor services at higher prices. We might have gotten a nice shiny new City Hall... but we're certainly paying for it too. I'm tired of having behind the scenes tory insiders running our city. It's time for a change.

    • Jack
      January 09, 2013 - 05:55

      That's a good point. Take for example, snow removal. On many major Corner Brook streets like Riverside Drive, Mt. Bernard Avenue, Humber Road, or West Valley Road, they are never adequately ploughed, thus they are putting people's lives at risk. Go to the Northern Bay of Islands area, and you notice their main highway is almost always ploughed on a regular basis. I still agree that the sooner Greeley is gone, the better Corner Brook will be.