West Hants council has given municipal staff the green light to negotiate a land purchase agreement for the municipality’s proposed sportsplex.
Council held a special meeting April 16 to authorize the CAO to begin negotiations with the Windsor Agricultural Society to purchase a four-acre portion of the society’s 31.5 acres of land in Windsor.
An environmental study, a geotechnical study and two property appraisals were conducted prior to the recommendation. Young and Associates valued the site at $280,000 while Carmquin Property Appraisals came in with a higher assessed value of $296,000. As such, chief administrative officer Martin Laycock suggested negotiating based on a value of up to $288,000 plus applicable taxes and associated expenses.
A land deal must be secured before the project can move forward.
“Then there’s getting a contract with the builder and things like that. There’s still a few i’s to dot and t’s to cross but we’ve made significant progress in getting things done,” said Laycock in an interview following the council meeting.
Warden Abraham Zebian concurred, noting it’s the largest project undertaken by West Hants council.
“The main key (takeaway) is West Hants council is pushing forward on the project and we hope nothing gets in our way,” he said.
Funds for the land purchase will need to come from the operations reserve as the acquisition would be ineligible for provincial or federal funding. The arena project currently carries a $15 million price tag, with $4.4 million coming from the federal government and $3.6 million coming from the province. An additional $1 million is being contributed by the Town of Windsor, with West Hants on the hook for the remaining $6 million.
Earlier this month, West Hants council passed a motion to award the construction of the new sports complex, which will feature an NHL-sized ice surface, walking track and indoor soccer field, to Lindsay’s Construction. Roscoe Construction had also bid on the project and presented a design for less cost. Council invited both businesses to present their project. On April 9, council chose Lindsay’s Construction as the successful bid.