Please sign the petition below to show your support for a state of the art Sports & Entertainment Complex to be built right here in the heart of Chatham-Kent.
At the last Chatham-Kent council meeting on October 7th, 2019, city administration had put forth a new proposal to be voted on that would see council changing their previously voted on direction. This motion would eliminate the 4000 seat auditorium in the Complex which would now only consist of a 2200 seat arena, along with a 200 secondary ice pad. Also the facility would include a 200 seat Indoor Soccer/Sports Facility. This was put to vote and council unanimously approved this motion. One important note on this subject, is a $5 Million Dollar donation that was made to the project that clearly derailed the previous direction of council. During this same council meeting, the mayor, Darrin Canniff, stated that he would vouch for the non-submitted as of yet donation. This pretty much signifies that the money is coming from one of his close friends.
This all unfortunately comes after the mayor had previously spoken to our group all but GUARANTEEING that this project would happen and he would make sure that it did because this is what he also wanted. So at this point in time, it looks as though the mayor had sold his municipality out to cater to the wants of the donator. This definitely casts a shadow over his decision and his integrity.
During this last council meeting we heard certain councillors speaking out about how much they care about their constituents, and that they would fight for them. Funny thing is, those situations they were speaking of only consisted of their towns people. The situation they were speaking about only affected their community. But here we are, dealing with something that affects every single taxpayer in Chatham-Kent, and they abandon the project that they had already committed to previously. Sounds like these council members only care about the direct people that vote for them. Not the rest of Chatham-Kent. People need to remember that come the next election.
Every citizen in Chatham-Kent needs to be aware of this situation. It is going to affect them dramatically in the near future. The new project that was voted on and accepted will carry a heavy tax burden to all of Chatham-Kent taxpayers. There will be no new businesses moving here, no new families moving here because of this project. Our city and economy will not prosper like it would have had the proper Complex been built. Tens of Millions of dollars each year are spent by Chatham-Kent residents on outside entertainment. Now nothing changes. But we will now have 3 businesses running heavy in the red that will have high operating costs that will still need to be paid for. The Bradley Centre, The twin Pad, and the Indoor Soccer/Sports Facility. Our taxes are already very high considering what Chatham-Kent has to offer. This recent decision will only make this situation worse.
Speak to your mayor, and your councillors if you don't agree with their decision. Tell them that you do not support this project. It's not too late to voice your displeasure.
Early estimations have tabbed the new complex costing around 75 million dollars with a finalized plan to be decided upon later. It will take approximately 18 months to build and would create more jobs, Keep our youth here, bring new families to C-K, drive more traffic to the new casino, and would definitely bring new business to our communities. This would all play a significant role in the revitalization of Chatham-Kent and its economic future.
Included is this state of the art facility would be the main attraction; A 4200-5000 seat arena with around 20+ private suites that would house sporting events, concerts, broadway shows, live family entertainment, competitions, tournaments and much much more . A second ice rink would be included to replace our currently aging arenas. Developments would also include small and large retail & restaurant spaces and much more to fill out the facility.
The Navistar property boasts an impressive 86 acres of land. With the complex only using up a portion of the property, developing this land properly for maximum usage would be key. There is room for large developments that would bolster the property values all around the area. Extensive parking would be made available to allow for outdoor events on the property that could include Ribfest, Bikefest, Outdoor Concerts, Farmer's Markets, & Festivals.
Currently in our reserves, sits just over $4,000,000 that comes from Provincial Gas Taxes. This money has been allocated for a development of a certain nature. What falls into this category would be a brand new VIA Rail Station, City Bus Station, and Greyhound Depot all in one Transportation Hub that could be built beside the complex at the back of the property along the railroad tracks. This is something our community absolutely needs.
The answer is a big NO! And here's why. Our previous Mayor Randy Hope and his team were very fiscally responsible over the last 12 years. They were able to eliminate almost $100,000,000 from our debt. This allowed us to establish an A+ credit rating and get our spending under control. With all that debt behind us, the city would not have to rely on the tax payers for a much needed complex for our community to enjoy. With all that said, this does give us some pretty good leverage to approach the Federal and Provincial Governments for monies that would go towards the cost of the build. Other communities were given money even when they were not financially stable. Even if we were not able to receive such funds at this time, we could borrow the money ourselves and still make this work. We would save on the upkeep of two aging facilities, extra revenue would flow in from the Casino, the Bradley Centre, and all the new developments on the property. These could easily offset the yearly loan payment we would be making. It really is that simple. Stay tuned. We will prove it!
After meeting with the current mayor Darrin Canniff multiple times and being told that he completely supports this and he will help make this happen, the mayor has now turned his back on this project and decided to move in another direction after a $5 Million Dollar donation presented itself to pursue a different avenue.
Our previous Mayor has never wavered on his support for a new Entertainment Complex. He strongly feels that right now is truly our window of opportunity to make something of this magnitude become reality. He has stated that having this Complex in Chatham-Kent will finally make us competitive again against other municipalities that have already had these built.
Everything from skate sharpening, new and used skates, pro team apparel, and all your sporting goods needs. We also do custom embroidery and printing right in house. Sportswear, workwear, team apparel. You name it. We'll do it! Come visit us at 374 St. Clair St. in Chatham or call us at 519-354-3000. WE SUPPORT THE COMPLEX!!
Give Jim a call for all your Residential, Commercial & Investment Mortgage Lending needs. He has everything you need to make the right decision for you. The website is designed with every situation in mind. There is even an app to make things as easy as possible.
The former South Buxton Raceway was sold over the winter and renamed Southern Ontario Motor Speedway. The new owner promises big changes to bring many years of new found excitement to the track. Check out the 2019 track schedule. Visit the track's website for more information.
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