Avoid going into debt over events centre, councillor says
Thunder Bay city council to start debating how to pay for arena and convention centre
City councillors in Thunder Bay will have their first discussion Monday night about a report recommending the north core as the site of a new arena and convention centre — a project that comes with a $106 million price tag.
Coun. Ken Boshcoff said it can't go ahead without contributions from the provincial and federal governments.
"Projects of this level, across the country, are shared by all orders of government," he said.
"And, [as] you will see in the report, [there is] emphasis on how much tax revenue the provincial and federal governments will get."
City manager Tim Commisso said a private partner contribution of $15 million is also needed, in addition to the $10 million the city still requires to top up its own portion.
He said a private investment would involve a partnership that goes beyond naming rights.
Coun. Larry Hebert said the city should use its $25-million in reserve funds but avoid going into debt.
"Personally, I don't want to borrow money to do it," he said.
"I know we can do that, and debenture it, and that's not a problem, we've done that with many projects. But, I'd like to see if we can do it without borrowing any money, and if we can do it with a private sector partner, or partners."