Kenora City Council has voted to shoot down the arena twinning design plan project, by a vote of 5 to 1. Councillor Rory McMillian was the lone councillor in support of the city spending $250,000 to fund the creation of detailed design drawings and tender preparations for twinning the Kenora Recreation Centre.
Council has previously said that without significant financial help from the government, the study wouldn’t move ahead. Councillors didn’t change their minds yesterday, saying that there is no funding available for recreation developments with the new government at this time.
Councillor McMillian argued that local hockey and skating groups have a need for additional ice time, a second rink would be a key component to hosting more special events, and that the second arena may have led to Kenora hosting a junior hockey team once again.
If passed, the $250,000 was expected to be drawn from the Citizens Prosperity Trust Fund. The total cost of the design work was estimated to be $750,000, with an application to the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation to pay the remaining $500,000. An early estimate put the cost of the twinning project at about $30 million.
In 2017, the ice surface created $230,000 in revenue, but had an operating cost of around $1 million. Ratepayers paid more than 75 per cent of the operating costs. The city's goal is to have teams pay about 55 per cent of ice time for youth, and about 65 per cent of the ice time for adults.
The idea to build another arena has been on the agenda since 2011.
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Councillors voting to study arena twinning