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Chiarelli lays down Lansdowne options

City council has three options when it meets to decide what to do withLansdowne Park later this month, according to College Ward Coun. RickChiarelli.

City council has three options when it meets to decide what to do with Lansdowne Park later this month, according to College Ward Coun. Rick Chiarelli.

Back in April, city council passed a motion from Chiarelli to enter into sole-source negotiations with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.

If it decides not to partner with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group and move ahead with some variation of their $250-million plan, the city would be left to continue spending $4 million per year to maintain the salons and hockey arena while the stadium crumbles.

If the city rejects the OSEG Lansdowne Partnership Proposal, it could just demolish the civic centre and turn it into a lawn. That would cost at least $40 million. Building a new stadium and hockey arena somewhere else in the city would cost another $200 million.

“By far the most economical solution for taxpayers is the Lansdowne Partnership,” said Chiarelli.

Even though that plan requires that the city take a nearly $120-million loan to pay for the renovation of the stadium and to refurbish the hockey arena, that debt is paid down by a portion of revenue generated by the 300,000 square feet of commercial development at the north half of the park.

At worst, Chiarelli argues this plan would have no impact on the city tax rate. At best, it will generate enough revenue to provide tax relief.

While critics of the plan have criticized it for not respecting the culture and heritage of the park, Chiarelli argues that the history of Lansdowne is as a sports and entertainment hub.

“The fact is that we can afford to have a new stadium, a world-class junior hockey rink, great shopping and amenities if we go forward with the Lansdowne Plan,” he said. “If we turn this down, we will get what we have now.”

 
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