Thunder Bay

Proposed multi-use turf facility back on Thunder Bay city council agenda

Thunder Bay city council will consider asking the private sector and other interested organizations for their proposals for a proposed multi-use indoor turf sports facility.

Proposed new fireworks bylaw, Waterfront Trail long-term plan will also be discussed Monday

The city's proposed indoor turf sports facility, new fireworks bylaw, and the Waterfront Trail are among the items on a lengthy agenda for Monday's meeting of Thunder Bay council. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)

Thunder Bay city council will consider asking the private sector and other interested organizations for their proposals for a proposed multi-use indoor turf sports facility on Monday.

Councillors in March voted not to award a tender for the project, which, at the time, would have cost about $46 million and been entirely publicly funded.

However, the project is still on the city's books, as council had earlier voted to construct the facility, a decision that remains in effect.

On Monday, city administration will table a resolution recommending council move forward with an expression of interest (EOI) process, which would be aimed at the private sector and other organizations interested in working with the city on the project.

According to the meeting agenda, the EOI would have the following objectives:

  • Identify potential parties interested in addressing the community's need for access to indoor turf.
  • Explore partnership options and possible structures.
  • Capitalize on the collective energies/expertise of interested parties.
  • Optimize and limit the use of public resources.

The EOI deadline would be set for Aug. 27, and administration would be asked to come back to council with recommendations in November.

Also on Monday, councillors will get an update on the proposed Waterfront Trail, which, if approved and constructed, would run 13.5 kilometres between Mission Island Marsh and Fisherman's Park.

Three sections of the trail are expected to be developed in 2021 .They include the sections of trail that run between Mission Marsh and Island Drive, and the Neebing-McIntyre Floodway to Main Street.

The section of trail that runs from Richardson's Terminal to north of Prince Arthur's Landing is also scheduled for development this year.

Jackknife Bridge discussions planned

The city also plans to reopen discussions with CP rail about possibly building a pedestrian walkway, and emergency vehicle access, across the Jackknife Bridge, which is owned by CP and currently open to rail traffic only.

Council last talked about the bridge with CP in 2002. At the time, pedestrian access to the bridge would have cost $800,000; council voted to have CP rebuild the Brown Street pedestrian bridge instead.

Also Monday, a new, 10-year Superior North EMS (SNEMS) master plan will be presented to council.

It will also be asked to approve the purchase of five new emergency vehicles for SNEMS.

If approved, the vehicles would be purchased from Crestline Coach Ltd. and cost a total of $796,883 plus HST.

The money for the purchase was included in the 2021 capital budget.

New fireworks bylaw proposed

Council will also discuss a possible new fireworks bylaw for Thunder Bay.

City administration is recommending the current bylaw, which has been effect since 1993, be repealed and replaced.

The proposed new bylaw includes several changes, including allowing fireworks around three "named days" — Canada Day, the Civic Holiday and New Year's Eve — as well as the evenings of the preceding days (and, in the case of bad weather, the day after).

The city would turn to an individual permit process for people or groups wishing to set off fireworks on other days, such as those pertaining to specific events.

The new bylaw would also increase penalties for first-time offences and establish a system of escalating fines for repeat offenders.

If council votes to move forward with a new fireworks bylaw, administration would be required to present the new document to council for ratification by Oct. 31.

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