By Chad Ingram
Costs for the new Minden arena total $13.3 million, a report from Minden Hills finance director Lorrie Blanchard shows, and the township will finalize a debenture through Infrastructure Ontario that will cover nearly $11.5 million of that expense.
Township councillors received Blanchard’s report on the debenture during an online meeting in late June.
The project got underway in the spring of 2019, and included the demolition of the former S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena and the construction of a new facility featuring an NHL-sized rink, six change rooms, a fitness room, and gymnasium with an elevated walking track. The project’s initial budget was $12.5 million, with McDonald Brothers Construction, the company that built the facility, coming back to council in December of 2019 requesting an additional $250,000. That was approved, bringing the budget to $12.75 million.
Council has since approved expenditures for a host of items that were not included in the project’s base budget, including a snack bar with a budget of $60,000.
Blanchard’s report shows that of the $13.3 million, just more than $1 million has come from township reserves; $150,000 from an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant; about $45,000 in Safe Restart funding from the province; and about $15,000 from energy grants.
The bulk of the project will be paid through a loan of approximately $11.4 million from Infrastructure Ontario, a Crown lending corporation, to be paid off during a 25-year period. A series of meetings will be required to finalize interest rates and legalities, with the debenture expected to finalized in August.