Sudbury

Sudbury council votes down motion to evaluate 'Project Now' arena proposal

Sudbury city councillors have narrowly defeated a motion that would have directed city staff to evaluate a renovation proposal for the downtown area.

Motion narrowly defeated in a tie vote

Architecture firm 3rd Line Studios came up with a proposal to renovate the Sudbury Arena, instead of building the Kingsway Entertainment District. (Supplied by 3rd Line Studios)

Sudbury city councillors have narrowly defeated a motion that would have directed city staff to evaluate a renovation proposal for the downtown area.

Earlier this year, Sudbury architecture firm 3rd Line Studio came forward with the proposal — pitching its "Project Now" renovation plan as a cost-saving alternative to building the Kingsway Entertainment District (KED).

"This is a perfect example of an opportunity that if we don't even explore this opportunity, then we are basically telling the taxpayers that we don't care about potentially saving $40 million," said Coun. Mark Signoretti during council's Tuesday meeting. 

"We're just going down a certain path, without doing our homework to make sure that there is possible savings. And if there is, then we should look at it."

Signoretti, along with Coun. Geoff McCausland, presented the motion that would have directed city staff to evaluate the plan, and bring a report back to council. However, a tied vote meant the motion was narrowly defeated. Mayor Brian Bigger was absent from Tuesday's meeting. 

The Sudbury Community Arena is slated to be replaced with the new Kingsway Entertainment District. (Gino Donato/CBC)

The KED has been held up with legal delays, with the city now waiting for a decision from the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) before it can proceed. 

As with previous discussions regarding alternative arena plans, some councillors argued the time for changing course on the KED plan has passed. 

"We're days away from getting a decision from LPAT. And if a decision comes as I expect, then we're ready to have all the parties sit down and say when do we start digging. It's too late right now and we don't need this," said Coun. Robert Kirwan. 

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