In council Monday night, council approved the following two propositions:
- Council direct staff to develop a sound business plan to build an arena suitable for community recreation, sports, tourism and the attraction of an OHL franchise.
- Administration explore and exhaust all opportunities to access senior government infrastructure funds to build an arena suitable for the objective and the strategic business plan.
This motion was carried after Councillor Derek Robertson put forward a motion earlier this month asking council to again discuss the issue, following a leak from a closed session council meeting, which alerted press and the public that the Municipality of Chatham-Kent was courting an OHL franchise.
The original document being discussed by council, was developed by Chatham-Kent’s CAO Don Shropshire, who discussed the costs related to building a new arena in Chatham-Kent, and the economic feasibility of building such an arena as a part of a plan to bring an OHL team to Chatham.
Although Monday’s vote makes no decision and does not mean an arena, nor an OHL team will be coming to Chatham, it does direct Municipal staff to examine the feasibility and create a viable business plan for the venture.
Also passed on Monday was a motion put forward by Councillor Art Stirling, which asked to examine the original leak of information to the press regarding discussions of an OHL team, from a closed council session. His motion regarding Bbreaches of Council confidentiality asked, “That Council request our Solicitor to provide a report outlining our options, under the Municipal Act and other pertinent law, to conduct an independent investigation and respond to ongoing and potentially damaging leaks of Closed Session confidential information, such as experienced recently with an economic development opportunity.”
Councillor Stirling’s motion was also passed. Continue to follow CKSN.ca for updated information as this story develops.