Kenora City Councillors are expected to vote on and approve a $250,000 amendment to the 2018 Budget today, to fund the creation of detailed design drawings and tender preparations for twinning the Kenora Rec Centre.

The $250,000 is expected to be drawn from the Citizens Prosperity Trust Fund. The total cost of the design work is estimated to be $750,000, with the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation paying the remaining $500,000.

Council has previously said that without significant financial help from the government, the study wouldn’t move ahead. 

“Is there even any consideration into spending money into arenas? If there’s not, it makes the decision pretty simple. We can’t afford it without the input of the upper levels of government,” said Mayor Dave Canfield. 

Councillors approved looking into twinning the arena in April, with Mayor Canfield breaking the tie. In April’s council meeting, councillor Mort Goss was concerned about the operating costs of the current ice surface.

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.

An early estimate put the cost of the twinning project at about $30 million. Another estimate using a more phased-in approach was explored, along with a facility that might use fabric -- similar to the Whitecap Pavilion -- instead of bricks and mortar.

Opponents of the project have noted money has already been spent on renovations at the Keewatin Arena, while another event venue has been added at Seven Generations.

The idea to build another arena has been on the agenda since 2011.

For more information:
Twinning study moves ahead

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