Elliot Lake residents updated about arena at a public meeting

By Rosalind Russell – The decision to close Elliot Lake’s Centennial Arena had several users and residents expressing their dismay and anger at a city hall meeting held late last week.

About 100 people took in the meeting with the city council last week to learn about alternatives available, options to save the structure, or if a new one should be built.

The public forum was called by Acting Mayor Andrew Wannan following a report by Wood Research and Development Canada prompted by a report questioning the safety of the structure which led to the decision to close the facility.

Wannan says the council wants to obtain as much information on the arena’s structural state to determine whether it can be restored or if it will need to be demolished to make room for a new arena.

He adds council decided earlier last week to spend around $300,000 to shore up the support beams and mitigate a potential roof collapse.

Wannan also acknowledged the hardships faced by users who now must travel to Blind River, Massey, and Espanola to practice or play hockey games.

The mayor asked for patience while the company completes their report stressing the public will be consulted before any further decisions are made.

City staff has also begun the funding application process for money to either renovate or build a new facility.

Photo: The public was updated about the situation with the Centennial Arena at a public forum held last week. Council is investing around $300,000 to shore up the trusses in the building to prevent a snow load collapse, but is now looking at all options including demolishing the building and erecting a new facility. Zoom photo – Rosalind Russell

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