Artist rendering of the proposed outdoor ice rink in the civic esplanade. (via City of Windsor)Artist rendering of the proposed outdoor ice rink in the civic esplanade. (via City of Windsor)

$15.45M ice rink narrowly approved

After a lot of discussion and a narrow vote, Windsor councillors approved the construction of a $15.45 million ice rink downtown.

The rink is the first project in the civic esplanade and includes a water feature for the summer season.

"This project forms the core of our civic esplanade, it's the base, it's the basement. It's the beginning of the project and we can't compromise on that. It's designed to be a year-round facility not just a skating rink," said Ward 3 Councillor Renaldo Agostino.

Councillors voted 6-5 in favour of the project after the tender came in $6,085,255 over budget.

Many councillors felt the project price tag was too much to swallow.

"I think the project is amazing, it's an absolutely amazing project and I think it's beautiful. But the fact of the matter is we've got a lot of things on our horizon," said Jo-Anne Gignac who voted against moving forward with the project.

The additional $6 million will be funded through the Corporate Inflation Mitigation fund, the Canada Community Building Fund (formerly known as the gas tax), and the Tourism Development Infrastructure and Program Fund.

The city will also seek additional funding through naming rights and grant opportunities.

City administration the rink could be open for at least a portion of the next skating season.

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