Plans not moving forward for a proposed new arena in Chatham-Kent
Proposed new arena for Chatham-Kent, Ont. (courtesy Build The Complex Chatham-Kent/Facebook)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Plans for a proposed twin pad 2,200 seat arena in Chatham-Kent are on ice.
Council on Monday evening heard the $60 million project did not meet criteria for the provincial share of funding.
The requested $36.65 million was needed for the project to proceed to the next step.
Some of the criteria included community need and lack of similar services nearby.
A group calling itself Build the Complex C-K gaged community support by hosting an open house in May 2019, for a proposed 5,000 seat arena at the site of the former Navistar plant
The plan called for both the Chatham Memorial Arena and Erickson Arena to be replaced with an indoor multisport community centre with up to 4,000 seats along with an additional 200-seat twin pad complex.
Around that same time Chatham-Kent council committed $18.5 million to build a new community arena in a 13-4 decision.
Councillor Michael Bondy who casted one of the dissenting votes says the community dodged a bullet.
He says if Chatham-Kent had received the provincial funding, the municipality would have been in a position to find its share of the cost at a time when budgets are already under the strain of expenses and loss revenue from COVID-19.
“Our municipality already has ten functioning arenas, compared to other jurisdictions which also applied for funding without similar facilities,” said Bondy.
Bondy believes the $18.5 million which was set aside could be spent to help balance the budget with plenty left over to upgrade an existing arena.