Sudbury Mayor Paul Lefebvre said he plans to have shovels in the ground for a new or renovated arena before his term ends in three years.
Last year, council voted unanimously to reject the $215 million budget for an arena at the Kingsway Entertainment District.
The latest staff report outlines four new options for the downtown arena, which includes repair or major renovations to the existing arena, the construction of a new arena or building a new arena as part of some larger downtown redevelopment.
“For me, it’s what can we do with the money that we have,” Lefebvre said in an interview on Monday with Morning North host Markus Schwabe.
He emphasized that either the renovation or construction will have to come with the entire redevelopment of the downtown area.
We need to start reinvesting in that infrastructure. It’s very expensive, but it needs to be done.– Sudbury Mayor Paul Lefebvre
“We just can’t put one building there and hope that things will happen on its own.”
In addition, he plans to have a business and finance plan in place by the end of this year.
High interest rates means the project will become more expensive to execute, but Levebvre says $85 million has already been set aside for the project.
“We need to start reinvesting in that infrastructure. It’s very expensive, but it needs to be done.”
Besides addressing the city’s infrastructure, Lefebvre said building more affordable housing is the city’s priority.
Paul Lefebvre says he is experiencing the issue firsthand, as his niece just moved to Sudbury to take a good job and isn’t able to find an affordable place to live.
He says a special committee has been put together to try and help with future development.
The committee will aim to address the red tape that is currently in place, and look into the measures council can take to reduce the time and expenses of building new housing in the city.
Lefebvre says recent statistics show that Sudbury’s population will grow from 171 thousand to 200-thousand people in the next 25 years.
“We need housing from basically affordable housing for the vulnerable population right to just a regular bungalow, we need the whole mix of housing.”