SUDBURY CITY HALL

Will large projects get funding before 2018 municipal election?

Sudbury city council could have big decisions to make about big projects in the new year.

Council has committed funding towards one of four proposed developments so far.

A sketch of what a synergy centre in Sudbury, Ont., could look like. (supplied)
Sudbury city council might have big decisions to make about big projects in the new year. 

Councillors are expected to receive presentations and reports on proposed large developments. 

But with two years left before the next municipal election, time is running out to turn plans into results.

Last year, council held a Dragon's Den style event to hear pitches that will move the city forward. 
Councillor Rene Lapierre said all four large project proposals have the same merit. (provided)

So far, $5 million dollars is being committed towards a Francophone arts hub called Place des Arts.

There are also plans for a new arena, convention centre, and a combined art gallery and main library.

"I think they all have the same amount of merit," councillor Rene Lapierre said.

"I think it [process] will be to look at the business cases and what kind of economic value they have ... and decide from there whether it's a 100 per cent go ahead or partial. Do we fund it? Or do we find funding for it? How does that work? I think those are all discussions that we need to have as we get more information."

'Much of the work has been done in the past'

This is not the first time council has considered building such large projects.

Darren Stinson led the push for a multi-use recreational complex as a part of the city's legacy project under former Mayor John Rodriguez in 2008, but the proposal was defeated by a single vote. 

Stinson is hopeful the current council will move the city's new project proposals forward. 

"Much of the work has been done in the past," Stinson said.

"Council's identified what we need and we really need a concerted effort to move them forward."
Darren Stinson is the past chair of the multi-use recreational complex advisory panel under former mayor John Rodriguez. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

John Caruso, who is behind a plan to build a new convention or "synergy" centre, is also optimistic. 

'City council is prepared to move forward'

Caruso told CBC News he feels encouraged by council's funding commitment towards Place des Arts. 

"It shows that city council is prepared to move forward with these large projects," Caruso said.

"This building will be able to be so multi-purpose that it will be a very busy place and will generate sufficient revenue to cover its operating costs."

The synergy centre is planned for downtown, Caruso said, with room to hold up to 2,000 people. It is also expected to have collapsed seating to create a flat floor for dinners and conferences. 

About the Author

Olivia Stefanovich

Reporter

Olivia Stefanovich is a network reporter for CBC News based in Toronto. She previously worked in Saskatchewan and northern Ontario. Connect with her on Twitter @CBCOlivia. Send story ideas to olivia.stefanovich@cbc.ca.