Mayor insists council needs to decide on arena at April 6th meeting
Mayor Stephen Mandel maintains councillors need to come to a decision on the proposed arena project by the time they meet on April 6th. The mayor has said he wants council to decide whether or not to move forward with the proposed project, to allow negotiations to move ahead without as many obstacles.
Some councillors have admitted they are doubtful a big decision can be made in a couple of weeks from now, but Mandel believes council has enough information to make this decision.
"This isn't exactly dotting the I's or crossing the T's. This is saying we want to do a deal based on these parameters," said Mandel. "At some point, I think you have to make a decision."
The city has delayed approving the project up until now as it waits for administration and the Katz Group to decide who will cover a $100 million shortfall to build the arena.
But the mayor thinks they are going about the process in the wrong way.
"You don't start searching for other monies until you make the decision to search for them. And if council decides they don't want to search for the other $100 million, then why are we bothering?"
Some councillors say at this stage, they aren't prepared to vote.
"I think that's something that I certainly am not prepared to approve. If we were forced into a vote on April the 6th I know with the lack of information that I have, my answer would be absolutely not," said Coun. Tony Caterina.
But Mandel suggests he'll take the lead to push city commitment through. Although, he isn't telling media what he'd like to see introduced as a motion on April 6th.
But despite the mayor's persistence, some members of council aren't convinced they can make up their minds just yet.
"We are working towards a resolution one way or another, but what it looks like at this point it's still too early," said Coun. Jane Batty.
Several reports with new information is expected to come in on April 6th. Coun. Amarjeet Sohi told CTV News he hopes there will be answers on a few topics such as, how much money could be generated through a Community Revitalization Levy (CRL), what will happen to Rexall Place if a new arena is built, and what the risks associated with a ticket surcharge.
There is word the meeting on April 6th may be delayed as Coun. Kim Krushell is unable to attend. There is a chance she may call in to the meeting, but she told CTV News there is a good chance the meeting will be rescheduled.
With files from Jessica Earle