Some of the comments coming from Mayor Sean McIntyre over the past few days have sent mixed messages to us and to residents of our community.
They need to be clarified quickly so that we can “band together as a community to see a new facility built” and he’s challenged us.
At the conclusion of Tuesday night’s council meeting he said the town had plans to “develop a facility in that region” but that council is “not interested in rushing decisions in fear of making decisions that will plague us in the future”.
At a news conference Monday he stated concept plans the town already has were for a facility on the same site in 2016.
Earlier this month town councillors spent numerous hours poring over their budget for 2014. Following that their media release stated one of the highlights is a leisure centre detailed design (that’s apparently the new name for the multiplex redevelopment moniker used in the past).
The 10 year capital plan they scrutinized in conjunction with their decision-making indicated $18 million planned for the multiplex addition in 2015 which would indicate to us significant work would be underway that year.
In fact, information we’ve heard previously, suggested the arena would have been torn down at the end of the 2015 season and a new ice surface ready that fall (perhaps a little later than the normal season start).
So, if detailed design is to take place this year, and money is planned for construction in 2015 why has the 2016 date surfaced?
Based on current circumstances that’s totally unacceptable. We agree that decisions shouldn’t be rushed, but we’ve been discussing this project for years, the concept plan has been presented and the fundraising committee has kicked off its work.
Anything less than a 2015 start, with the possibility of an ice surface being ready for the 2015-16 season, is going to be unacceptable by many — many who are ready to embrace this project with increased passion and get it done.