Tbnewswatch Local News
2014-05-13 at 1:01AM

Go forward: Council ratifies LOI with group on event centre

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- A proposed event centre could open in the fall of 2017.

It’s just one of five points in a letter of intent between the city and Thunder Bay LIVE! ratified by city council Monday. The letter is non-binding and specifics terms remain confidential but a city media release highlights that no commitments can be made without future city approvals and confirmation that federal and provincial funding is in place. It also states that agreements on operation, leasing and design will be negotiated by March 2015.

“It’s important to note though, that even with an LOI to define how we work together, there is no guarantee on either side,” city facilities, fleet and transit services manager Michael Smith said.

"Certainly it's a step in the right direction."

Mayor Keith Hobbs said with agreements in place it will help when the city asks the federal and provincial governments, expected to begin in September.

"We deliver that to the feds and the province, they know that we're serious and our other partners are serious as well," he said.

Smith said funding applications are expected to take abuot six months, which would put the start of the construction phase into the summer of 2015. A two-year build would see it open in September 2017. In the meantime administration can now begin negotiating agreements, the specifics of which are confidential for now.

"Those will be unfolding. There's lots of work ahead of us," Smith said.

A schematic design will be presented to the public at an open house May 27. Members of city administration and Thunder Bay LIVE! will be there to answer questions Smith said.

Thunder Bay LIVE! is made up of Stadium Consultants International, Global Spectrum Facility Management, True North Sports and Entertainment, Lakehead University and the Thunderwolves, PCL Contractors Canada and BBB Architects.

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