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Sunderland Arena expansion gets a budget boost


BROCK: The Sunderland Arena expansion and renovation project continues to move forward, with councillors recently approving measures related to the project's financing.

During a recent municipal budget discussion, councillors heard a report, from CAO Michelle Wilson and Treasurer Trena DeBruijn, detailing some of the recent developments, as well as financing options for the project.

Coming into the meeting, there was approximately $9.2 million in the budget, including a grant of almost $6 million from the province going towards the long-awaited project. This left approximately $1 million left unbudgeted.

Regional Councillor, Mike Jubb cautioned councillors were "not making any final decisions today, we're just talking about different options, once we get there, as we move towards the second and third quarters of this year."

Councillor Jubb added, he was not in favour of the debenture option which would see the municipality borrowing a portion of the money for the project, given the current state of the financial market.

Ward 5 Councillor Lynn Campbell echoed those sentiments, noting, "This was always intended to be a project which could be completed without impacting the tax base." Councillor Campbell also observed, the project, once completed, would provide savings on maintenance currently forecasted for the facility.

Ultimately, councillors opted to receive the staff report, as well as increase the operating line of credit for the project, to $3 million, to be used only if required, and to allocate $280,000 from the tax rate stabilization fund to the Sunderland Arena reserve, for the expansion and renovation project.

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