Author: 800 CHAB NEWS
If a new sports facility is going to be built, it will be located at the current site of the Civic Centre. Also the multiplex project will include a hockey arena and a curling rink and that's it. No soccer pitch, no walking track.
Two major decisions were made at Moose Jaw City Hall Monday night after a motion made by Councilor Dawn Luhning. Luhning says this gives to the project some direction. "What happens now is I think if the community is behind it lets step up and plan for a better tomorrow and see if the funds can be raised and lets get on it. We've got to move on and if the feeling is out there that we don’t need a new facility then the fundraising won't happen but if the feeling is we need a new facility... we gotta move forward."
After a very lengthy discussion between councilors and administration, a motion was put on the floor selecting the Civic Centre site as the home of the multiplex project, if the fundraising comes into place. Luhning says a big reason for selecting the current location was money. "I think this decision on location needed to happen and siting on the side of the desk that I do I just didn't see the necessity of spending the additional money when the City owns land around our city."
Executive Committee approved the motion 6-1 with Brian Swanson being the only member opposed to the move. This decision still needs final approval of City Council when the minutes of Monday night's Executive Committee meeting come up for discussion July 10th.
After talks of public consultations and a possible plebiscite on the issue of location and what will be included in the project, some may say this decision was made in haste. Councilor Jim Carr is just one of those people even though he voted in favour of the Civic Centre site and the original Nustadia design plan approved in December of 2005. "There was definitely haste to the decision and the haste is primarily due to the Western Hockey League coming back to us and saying 'Hey, you guys need a plan in place and you need to be moving down that direction' and what we've heard is by January 31st of next year."
In a meeting held recently with the WHL, the City was given a verbal deadline of January 31st to have a final plan in place for the project or the future of the Warriors franchise would be at risk. The league apparently wants to know what will be built, where it will be built, and when it will be built. This decision answers two of the three questions with the third dependant on fundraising for the project.