WINDSOR, N.S. — During a special council meeting Jan. 29, West Hants council recommitted financial support for the proposed Hockey Heritage Centre project while also giving notice to the Town of Windsor that the municipality intends to remove itself from the Inter-Municipal Service Agreement.
That means that future decisions on the proposed Hockey Heritage Centre’s location, as well as other factors, now rests solely on the town’s shoulders
West Hants Warden Abraham Zebian said he’s hoping getting West Hants council out of the discussion will speed things up.
“We have a looming deadline of April 1,” Zebian said, referring to the deadline to apply for the federal government’s Build Canada fund. “And we’ve decided that for the interest of the residents of both Windsor and West Hants, and to help Windsor realize its dream of having a world class facility, that the best thing for us would be to offer our $1 million over five years, and to let the town continue on with the project alone.”
Zebian said council is “100 per cent supportive of Windsor” however they move the project forward.
“It’ll remove one unit’s ideas and thinking, and this is for the Town of Windsor, so we believe it should be their project to go forward with,” he said.
Other stories on the proposed Hockey Heritage Arena:
- Windsor council, staff to reach out to Hockey Heritage Arena stakeholders
- Council, stakeholders reviewing findings of Windsor arena site feasibility study
- Sub-committee motion fails on the floor while Windsor arena discussions continue
Zebian said the town has a feasibility study to refer to as well as key information from other levels of government and potential partners to make the project happen without the municipality’s direct involvement.
“Our main intent of this was to give the project a boost of energy it needed and get it moving, which it wasn’t,” he said. “We have a beautiful arena in Brooklyn, but it’s at capacity frankly. The area needs a second ice surface.”
Zebian said the $1 million contribution from the municipality is crucial to ensuring the project goes forward.
Windsor mayor surprised, but optimistic
“I was very surprised when (Warden Zebian) called me and announced that was what they were planning on doing,” Windsor Mayor Anna Allen said.
“Very happy, I might add, because it’s just another layer that we can get this project moving forward,” she continued.
“They’re committed to the $1 million, and they appreciate us really focusing on our hockey heritage, not just an arena,” she said. “We want to do what’s right for that and for the community and their needs.”
Allen said town council and staff continue to work with and discuss terms with their other partners, but are hoping to have an announcement ready in the coming weeks.
Now, it’s ultimately up to Windsor council to decide what the next steps will be.
“We will keep the public informed as we move forward,” Allen said.
Memorandum of Understanding deadline approaching
The Memorandum of Understanding that was struck between the Town of Windsor and Municipality of West Hants remains, with the one year anniversary of that agreement approaching on Feb. 14. (weblink - http://www.hantsjournal.ca/news/local/windsor-council-approves-memorandum-of-understanding-with-west-hants-1462/).
The MOU suspended the town’s application to amalgamate the two units for a year to see if they could better work together.