North Bay still has 'capacity' to build new arena without provincial funding, mayor says
NORTH BAY -- There's a wrench in the plans to build a new community centre and hockey arena in North Bay: the provincial government has denied a funding application to help cover some of the costs of development.
That means there's no financial help to build a proposed community centre and twin pad arena to replace the aging West Ferris Arena.
However, Mayor Al McDonald isn't fazed.
"We have the capacity to build it. We've already built the initial design and cost into our budget in the last two years," said McDonald. "So, we can move forward with the project."
The estimated cost of the building increased from around $33 million to $35 million in the summer.
The funding request did not pass Ontario's approval as part of the community, culture and recreation stream from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
"It's a 50-year project for our community. Like a legacy project for the community and we would finance it for 20-25 years," said McDonald.
Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli was asked by CTV News whether he would review the application as part of his Economic Development portfolio.
In a statement, Fedeli, said he was ensuring the province is doing a lot for North Bay.
"While the Recreation Fund was vastly oversubscribed, the city has been awarded many investments for other categories," Fedeli said. "In fact, more than $200 million in funding was delivered to Nipissing in 2019 alone. That is an historic investment."
The architects are scheduled to provide a final financial update next month and then council will vote on whether to tender the project.