Whatever happened to the Raceway Arena? Or the East end one? In fact, what's going on with the arena at all? I read the Star story today and I am more confused than ever.
Remember back at the end of May
"Mayor Eddie Francis confirmed Tuesday the city received a new offer from the raceway, renewing its interest in building an arena on land next to its track. A new partner has been added to the raceway proposal to help pick up the funding shortfall that caused the deal to fall through a few months ago."
At the time, a report from Administration was to be prepared for a June Council meeting.
It is now July and the Report is not on the July 10 agenda which means the earliest it can be presented is now July 24 unless there is a special meeting where not many people will attend and it will not be shown on Cogeco. I guess the excuse is the Mayor saying "A number of things have been going back and forth. There is still information coming -- the latest was yesterday." Sounds like the Cleary negotiations doesn't it?
Remember the comparison between the refurbishment of the Barn and the proposed East side arena that was presented at the Thursday Council meeting on April 27 at a special meeting, again not shown on Cogeco for you and I to see.
Windsor Star, April 28, 2006
"In an unusual show of solidarity, city council voted unanimously to forge ahead with plans for a $55-million, four-pad arena, featuring a 7,200-seat rink somewhere in the east side of the city.
Entitled Greater Windsor Multiplex Arena, the proposal was presented Thursday by senior city administrators in response to a council request to "cost out" two options: renovations to Windsor Arena versus building anew...
But in doing so, council also opted to scrap the alternative proposal to retrofit Windsor Arena and twin two community ice pads at a cheaper cost of about $39 million."
Will something happen? A smiling Councillor Ken Lewenza Jr. on John Fairley's Face-To-Face seemed to suggest it would and perhaps at the Raceway if Tony Toldo has come up with the cash required. Councillor Zuk was equally as cute on the Melanie Deveau show yesterday. Ken, Joyce and their colleagues know all, just as they know all about the mess at Enwin that they will not tell us about. They will let us know when it is in THEIR interest to let us in on the secret.
Frankly though it seems money is no longer an issue respecting the arena. We have the "wiggle room" supposedly. The normally tight-fisted Councillor Gignac who made such a big deal about the Cleary must be worried that she will lose in November and needs an East-end arena costing $70-80 million. She said:
And according to the Mayor
All I know is that according to the head money guy in Windsor, Onorio Colucci, our long term debt is projected to be by 2007--$217 million and by 2010--$191 million. And that does not include the $7 million for the WUC "bridge financing" and the $206 million employee future benefit obligation (as at 2004). Our debt will be higher in 2010 than it is now by a very substantial amount. Just so you know, the $15 million we have set aside for an arena...we have to borrow that money.
I wonder who is going to pay for all of this. A reader sent me some statistics that the number of jobs in Windsor has decreased since December 2005 by 7,000. That does not include all of the highpaying jobs to be lost in the auto industry either.
Oh and as for Councillor Cassivi, once the rest of his colleagues defeat the Raceway arena, then he can be told to come onside for the East end arena so there is unanimity.
Is it just me or have we lost our sense of where we are going in this City and what is important?