Bothwell Arena Stays Open

East Kent Councillor Steve Pinsonneault, January 26, 2016 (Photo by Jake Kislinsky)

Chatham-Kent council has saved the Bothwell arena, at least until 2017.

Councillors voted 17-1 against the arena closure during budget deliberations Tuesday, electing to keep the arena open for the next year. This will allow community members to brainstorm new programming initiatives.

East Kent Councillor Steve Pinsonneault says they heard a lot of outcry from the community.

“This is a very important asset within their community. Now they realize it’s time to get to work to make this a viable entity within that community,” he says.

There was discussion on whether to continue financing the facility through the base budget, or keep the arena open using reserves. But East Kent Councillor Steve Pinsonneault explains the tab will stay under the municipality’s main budget.

“If you take anything out of base budget, it’s a real fight to get it back in,” says┬áPinsonneault. “Every time I see something put on supplementary, that’s usually its first step out the door.”

Council has also asked staff to meet with Bothwell community leaders to discuss their ideas on how to make the arena sustainable.