THUNDER BAY – A long session of City Council went on into the wee hours of the morning as Councillors debated a motion brought forward by Councillor Mark Bentz to step back from a decision to tender the Indoor Turf Facility.
After long debate, the decision to move forward with the project and put out the tender for the estimated $30 million facility was passed. Mayor Bill Mauro along with Councillors Albert Aiello, Shelby Ch’ng, Andrew Foulds, Cody Fraser, Kristen Oliver and Aldo Ruberto were the members of Council voting to move forward. Voting to defer tendering and financing of the facility were Councillors Mark Bentz, Trevor Giertuga, Brian Hamilton, Rebecca Johnson, Brian McKinnon and Peng You.
The Indoor Turf Facility has, like many other major capital projects let to division in Thunder Bay. Proponents have said that this project has been on the docket for years, and that now is the time. Opponents have said that right now to put the project forward with all the uncertainty is wrong, others have pointed to the cost and to other indoor turf facilities in other cities costing far less than to proposed $30 million plus cost.
The City is planning to pay for the project with $15 million out of the reserve fund, and will debenture the remainder.