City of Charlottetown to borrow $1.7M for Bell Aliant Centre upgrades

Harrison Nicholson

The city of Charlottetown is borrowing $1.7 million to complete upgrades at the Bell Aliant Centre.

At a virtual meeting Monday evening, council passed a resolution with a vote of nine to one.

The city planned to repave the centre’s parking lot this year, and replace its dehumidification system next year — but due to the pandemic, and with it, the the facility’s closure, it made sense to complete both upgrades now, said Coun. Terry Bernard, chair of the city’s finance committee.

“Obviously, it was serious enough for the general manager to get a hold of us and ask if this was a possibility,” he said.

“This is funding that we would have had to pay for next year anyway, so we just moved it up a year.”

When the city passed its capital budget in February, Bernard said expenditures for the Bell Aliant Centre hadn’t been included, because it knew it would have to revisit its capital asks for this facility.

He said the cost of repaving the lot will be $400,000 and replacing the dehumidification system will cost $1.3 million, with the project likely costing a total of $2 million.

The city will be responsible for 87 per cent of the cost, with the University of Prince Edward Island and other stake holders planning to front the rest.

Coun. Bob Doiron was the only councilor to vote against the funding decision, asking to keep costs down.

He said he would have preferred if one of the renovation projects such as the repaving, be done next year instead.

Bernard said it makes sense to do everything at once while the facility is already closed to the public.

However, he said he doesn’t have a date yet for when the upgrades will be finished.

About the Bell Aliant Centre
The Bell Aliant Centre is Charlottetown and surrounding area’s most comprehensive recreation facility. Located on the campus of the University of Prince Edward Island, and governed by a board represented by the City of Charlottetown, UPEI, and Town of Stratford. Complete with an Aquatics facility and home of MacLauchlan Arena.

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