Council allocates $18.5M in reserve dollars for potential complex

With the possibility of senior government funding for an arena and multi-sport complex, Chatham-Kent councillors approved shifting $18.5 million in existing reserves into a new one.

Chatham-Kent Civic Centre (File Photo)

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With the possibility of senior government funding for an arena and multi-sport complex, Chatham-Kent councillors approved shifting $18.5 million in existing reserves into a new one.

During Monday’s meeting, council approved transferring dollars from the following reserves to its new multi-purpose sports complex reserve:

  • Community investment reserve fund: $8 million;
  • Facility replacement: $1.7 million;
  • Closed session wage-related issues: $1.6 million;
  • Energy price fluctuation: $1.5 million;
  • Grass tender (close the reserve): $100,000;
  • Corporate initiatives: $1 million;
  • Strategic development: $4 million; and
  • Lifecycle (arena replacement): $600,000.

In October, council directed staff to make an application for upper-level funding for a 2,200-seat arena and complex, with decisions about that money expected to come next year.

Staff’s October recommendation stated the funding application is based on a maximum project cost of $60 million. Potential future investments in architectural design, land acquisition, outdoor sports fields, servicing and traffic mitigation aren’t included in this amount.

Filing the application doesn’t commit the municipality to building a facility, as any project would still need to return for final approval.

“We would bring this back to council,” said Thomas Kelly, general manager of infrastructure and engineering.

No land has been secured to date and discussions are ongoing. The final size and amenities would be contingent upon the budget dollars available.

The capital financial implications for Chatham-Kent are the previously approved commitment of council of $18.5 million.

East Kent Coun. Steve Pinsonneault questioned the timing of the decision concerning the reserves, believing the municipality should wait until hearing about the senior government funding.

“I think this is putting the cart ahead of the horse,” he said.

tterfloth@postmedia.com

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