Municipality of Chatham-Kent Council reversed the decision they made earlier this month about repurposing the Bothwell and Erickson arenas during their electronic Council meeting on Monday, November 23, 2020.
Chatham Councillor Michael Bondy made two successful motions for the ice surfaces in the Erickson Arena and the Bothwell Arena remain from December 2020 to March 2021.
Council had approved at their November 9, 2020 meeting that from December 2020 to March 2021, both Erickson Arena and Bothwell Arena, would be converted into multipurpose facilities with the ability for staff to extend the trials to a typical date of ice installation in 2021.
Council needed to vote separately on Monday night to waive notice of Bondy’s motions and to reconsider both motions as well.
These votes needed to pass by two-thirds in order to move forward, which they did.
East Kent Councillor Steve Pinsonneault said the Bothwell Arena is “extremely important” to the community.
“Quality of life is one of the things people look for when re-locating,” Pinsonneault said during Monday’s meeting.
“This small town, like all other small towns, don’t have a whole lot to offer… but the arena is a good draw for the young families.”
Pinsonneault added the Bothwell Area Recreation Advisory Committee has always been up front with the Municipality.
“So you can imagine their surprise and frustration when the report to move the ice out had come with no consultation whatsoever,” he said.
“There was an outpouring of support from the for the arena via email and if we had been in Council Chambers you can guarentee it would have been at capacity. The community really feels like it got blindsided on this one.”
Following the votes on the Erickson and Bothwell arenas, Chatham Councillor Karen Kirkwood-Whyte entered a notice of motion stating that no ice be installed at Thames Campus Arena to accommodate non-ice users for the 2020-2021 winter season.
Kirkwood-Whyte’s motion is set to be on the agenda for next Council meeting, scheduled for December 7, 2020.