Thursday, August 13, 2020

Applications being accepted for recreation funding

Memorial Arena in Chatham (Google Maps)

A new twin-pad arena and multisport complex in Chatham-Kent is inching closer to reality, after the province announced they are now accepting funding applications for projects under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s (ICIP) Community, Culture and Recreation (CCR) stream.

Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure, made the announcement on Tuesday, September 3.

“Community centres, cultural facilities and recreational infrastructure are exactly the types of investments that make a difference in the daily lives of people across Ontario,” Scott said in a media release.

“We are making the investments that matter to our communities.”

Provincial officials say the funding will go towards investing in community, culture and recreational projects that will help deliver vital services for communities, foster greater social inclusion and improve the quality of life for residents across the province.

This program is funded by the federal and provincial governments along with eligible partners such as municipalities, Indigenous communities and not-for-profit groups, and could unlock up to $320 million in provincial funding.

“These infrastructure investments are in addition to funding commitments that the Ontario government has already made for rural and northern infrastructure and transit infrastructure projects,” Scott said.

“We are committed to making the right investments in the right places at the right time.”

Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program: Community, Culture and Recreation guidelines and application materials are available for eligible partners on the Transfer Payment Ontario website.

A plan for a new twin-pad arena and multisport complex in Chatham-Kent got the go ahead back in May.

Municipality of Chatham-Kent Council approved a motion by Chatham Coun. Brock McGregor on Monday night, May 27.

The motion was carried by a vote of 13-4.

Chatham Councillors Michael Bondy and Doug Sulman, along with East Kent Councillors John Wright and Steve Pinsonneault were opposed. Chatham Coun. Amy Finn was absent.

Council approved replacing Chatham Memorial Arena and Erickson Arena with a twin pad and an Indoor Multisport Community Centre.

The maximum municipal contribution was set at $18.5-million, with investments in servicing and traffic mitigation costs not included.

The design will include a maximum 4,000 seat and 200 seat twin pad complex, with the final sizing and scope being dependent on private contributions and investments.

The project construction will commence only when a number of sources of funding are contractually confirmed, including:

– $18.5-million from Municipal reserves or if desired, debt financing.

– A minimum of $46.6-million from higher level government funding.

– Private funding.

– A budget increase commensurate with the operating and lifecycle requirements for the finalized project.

Council approved that upon completion of the construction of the new facility, both Memorial and Erickson Arenas will be closed, re-purposed, divested, or potentially demolished.

Council also directed administration to secure land options to accommodate the project along with an incremental 60 acres for outdoor sports fields for baseball, rugby, hockey, cricket and soccer.

Administration was set to proceed immediately with preliminary architectural work and land acquisition options.

Provincial officials say the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) is a $30-billion, 10-year infrastructure program cost-shared between federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Ontario’s share per project will be up to 33.33 per cent or about $10.2 billion spread across four streams: 1. Rural and Northern, 2. Public Transit, 3. Community, Culture and Recreation, 4. Green.

The Province has nominated more than 350 projects to the federal government for funding under the Rural and Northern and Public Transit stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, and some projects have already received federal approval to begin construction.

The agreement between Ontario and Canada commits $407 million in federal funding to the Community, Culture and Recreation stream.

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