KED can move forward now, mayor says
Brian Bigger doesn't think council wants a vote to reconsider the project, which has faced stiff opposition from some councillors and critics
Mayor Brian Bigger said it is full steam ahead for the Kingsway Entertainment District.
“Staff are working closely with our partners on the KED. The commitment of the partners is important for the public and council to understand,” Bigger said. “So far the indications have been positive.”
“Staff (members) anticipate returning to council with a detailed schedule of tasks in contemplation of proceeding with the current, approved direction,” the report indicated. “In general, the following major tasks need to be completed and will be identified in the report: retain a venue operator; issue the design/build RFP; site development, including grading, road and intersection construction; develop detailed design drawings; and events centre construction.”
Zulich also owns the Sudbury Wolves and the Sudbury Five, which would be the arena/events centre’s major tenants.
In June 2017, council accepted a report by PwC that determined downtown was a preferable location for an events centre. To move forward, council had to vote on the two top contenders.
First, council voted on the downtown location, but the option was lost to a 6-6 tie (Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier did not vote). Second, council voted on the Kingsway. It won by a vote of 10-2. Only Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti and Ward 10 Coun. Fern Cormier voted against the Kingsway.
While councillors are welcome to introduce a motion to reconsider that historic vote or to seek more information, Bigger said “at this time, we’re moving forward with the KED; that is the decision of the majority of council and that decision is moving forward.”