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Decision on indoor turf facility delayed again, as municipal election looms – CBC.ca

Thunder Bay’s proposed indoor turf sports facility has hit another snag.

City council on Monday voted to hold off on advancing the project, effectively transferring the issue to the next iteration of council, which will be elected in October.

“It was administration’s recommendation that this be deferred to the next group,” Thunder Bay Mayor Bill Mauro said Tuesday. “A resolution came off the floor to actually direct administration to move forward with an RFP [request for proposal].”

“That motion lost,” he said. “So the end result being that this is deferred until 2023 in the new council.”

Mauro said, however, he’s considering asking for the RFP vote to be reconsidered at the next meeting of council, which is scheduled for Aug. 8. That would also be the last meeting before the current council enters its so-called “lame duck” period, which imposes a number of restrictions on councillors due to the approaching municipal election.

“The lame duck prescriptions do limit a variety of things that council can do, and how much money can you spend to delegate some authorities out to administration, so that the city can continue to conduct its business,” Mauro said. “But none of them would apply on August 8, at our next meeting.”

“So we can still make this decision to move forward with an RFP if we choose to do that.”

Mauro said he wants more time to consider the RFP. However, he noted that even if a second vote produced a different result and council did direct administration to move forward with the it, the RFP process would not be concluded in time for the current council to make a final decision.

In essence, whether or not Thunder Bay gets an all-season, indoor turf facility is now out of the current council’s hands.

“It is just the nature of it,” Mauro said. “I thought we had a really good plan.”

“II try and make the point that we’re a northern, rural, relatively small city, that we’re fighting for people, we’re fighting to keep young people, to attract people to our community,” he said. “In my mind, one of the ways you do it is through particular amenities. And an amenity like this, I think it would have been a great piece.”

Mauro added the city also had a financial plan in place.

“We had other government funding in place,” he said. “We have a $40 million debenture retiring very soon, which has an annual interest principal and interest payment attached to it of about four or five million.”

Mauro said with that debenture — which was associated with long-term care homes — coming off the books, the city would have been in position to take out another, smaller debenture of about $20 million to close the turf sports facility funding gap.

Thunder Bay Mayor Bill Mauro says he hopes there can be one more review of the facility plan before the end of this current council. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)

The proposed facility would contain space for a number of indoor turf sports, including soccer and baseball, and be usable year-round. The city had previously picked a site at Chapples Park to build the facility.

It’s something the city’s soccer community has long advocated for.

Michael Veneziale, president of Soccer Northwest Ontario, said registration numbers for the 2022 outdoor season are the highest the organization has ever seen.

“Just speaking from the men’s …….

Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/turf-sports-thunder-bay-1.6532814

Thunder Bay’s proposed indoor turf sports facility has hit another snag.

City council on Monday voted to hold off on advancing the project, effectively transferring the issue to the next iteration of council, which will be elected in October.

“It was administration’s recommendation that this be deferred to the next group,” Thunder Bay Mayor Bill Mauro said Tuesday. “A resolution came off the floor to actually direct administration to move forward with an RFP [request for proposal].”

“That motion lost,” he said. “So the end result being that this is deferred until 2023 in the new council.”

Mauro said, however, he’s considering asking for the RFP vote to be reconsid…….

Thunder Bay’s proposed indoor turf sports facility has hit another snag.

City council on Monday voted to hold off on advancing the project, effectively transferring the issue to the next iteration of council, which will be elected in October.

“It was administration’s recommendation that this be deferred to the next group,” Thunder Bay Mayor Bill Mauro said Tuesday. “A resolution came off the floor to actually direct administration to move forward with an RFP [request for proposal].”

“That motion lost,” he said. “So the end result being that this is deferred until 2023 in the new council.”

Mauro said, however, he’s considering asking for the RFP vote to be reconsid…….

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