Major projects could drag into municipal election
The performing arts centre plans and the Kingsmill’s-Fanshawe deal could become major election issues.
This as they still dominate the talk at city hall.
Due to the upcoming election, city council can make no significant decisions after Sept. 12, which is the day this council attains a lame duck status - unable to make major financial decisions until a new mayor and council is sworn in December 1.
So the push was on Wednesdsay for a commitment in principle to build a new performing arts centre.
A consultant was blunt stating performing arts centres are great assets, but none in the province break even.
The goal, says consultant Brian Arnott, should be to minimize annual losses by designing and operating the building optimally.
With that in mind, he provided three reports city hall will use to evaluate proposals including the Celebration Centre mixed-use residential development.
But the Celebration Centre proposal will run out of time for this term of council to make a decision about the $16-million request of city hall.
“Disappointed in terms of the timing, but as I said in my comments, it is what it is,” says Scott Ritchie of the Performing Arts Centre (PAC) Task Force.
On the Fanshawe College front, councillor and mayoral candidate Joe Swan, who has led the charge against the additional $10-million funding request from the college for a downtown campus in the former Kingsmill’s building, will hold a news conference Thursday morning.
He told CTV News that his opposition to the current deal remains unchanged. He hopes to speak with the president of Fanshawe before his news conference and will outline other options for Fanshawe, which are, in his opinion, better options for taxpayers and students.