City council has given its approval to move forward with replacing the over 50-year old McMeeken Arena with a new twin pad arena at a cost of no more than 25-million dollars.
Part of last night’s dicussion focused on the financing for the project with both councillors Bruni and Hollingsworth saying they didn’t want the city to finance the twin pad facility without financial support from the senior levels of government.
The financing to cover the cost would be over 25-years at 1.53-million dollars a year.
A number of councillors said they were comfortable with the financing even without securing financial support from the senior levels of government at this point knowing that in the next few years the financing for both the GFL Memorial Gardens and the John Rhodes Community Centre would be coming to an end.
Councillor Dufour joined Hollingsworth and Bruni in voting against the resolution but for a different reason saying we should only go with one new ice surface.
A number of councillors spoke of the urgent need to replace the McMeeken due to past safety issues and to increase ice capacity with Mayor Provenzano saying the age of our current arenas is a factor in going with the twin pad.
The vote for approval was 7 to 3 and a steering committee will be established to move the project forward and report back to council on progress and applications will be made to the Ontario and Federal governments for financial assistance.