Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Twin-pad arena, multisport complex being proposed

Memorial Arena in Chatham (Google Maps)

A new twin-pad arena and multisport complex is being proposed for Chatham-Kent.

A meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 27, where Chatham-Kent Council will consider recommendations from staff to replace Chatham Memorial Arena and Erickson Arena with a 2,200 + 200 seat twin pad arena and 200 seat Indoor Multisport Community Centre, to be used for indoor soccer, tennis, pickle ball, walking track and other sports.

Staff says the proposal would include an estimated one-time gross capital investment of $63.8 million and an increase in net annual operating
and lifecycle costs of $360,000.

Investments into architectural design, land acquisition, outdoor sports fields, servicing and traffic mitigation costs are not
included, a staff report indicates.

The project construction will commence only when the following sources of funding are secured:

– 27% or $17.2 million from Municipal reserves or if desired, debt financing

– 73% or $46.6 million from higher level government funding. This application is still pending.

– A tax increase of 0.24% to support the $360,000 increase in net annual
costs from operations and lifecycle.

Staff says any private donations or amounts from fundraising will be used to offset the Municipal funding portion described

The recommendations are based on survey results, feedback from a public information centre, benchmarking information and previous master plans, a staff report indicates.

Upon completion of the proposed construction, both Memorial and Erickson Arenas will be closed and potentially demolished.

Staff is also recommending that administration secure land options to accommodate the proposed project, along with an incremental 60 acres for outdoor sports fields for baseball, rugby, hockey, cricket and soccer.

Administration is recommending to proceed immediately with next steps for the agreed upon facility option, including: the retention of architectural services, developing the required footprint, site selection, property acquisition, parking, design for traffic mitigation, applications for senior government funding, promotion of private funding and further
public engagement.

“These steps are necessary to achieve ‘shovel ready’ status, a condition stated in the application for the upcoming senior level government funding
program,” said Jeff Bray, manager of Parks and Open Spaces/Recreation Facilities, in his report.

“The Federal/Provincial funding program for Community, Cultural and Recreation Infrastructure is expected to be released later in 2019. An update to Council will follow once the outcome of the funding application is known.”

In the report, staff has included a host of options, which includes a financial breakdown of each:

To read the full report, click here

Monday’s meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre.

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