Town of Milton Seeks Input on Velodrome

In keeping with my committment to hearing from residents on important issues that we face, the Town of Milton is looking for your input on the possible velodrome proposal that is coming up for councils review later this month.

This effort accomplishes two things.  One is to get the all important feedback from residents on the direction of the town and second is to clear up any questions you may have about it.  Its no secret that I have been a supporter of the idea as well as getting more information on the velodromes potential, its costs and the long term impact on the town of Milton.  I am not 100 per cent on board with this until we “get the numbers”.

I was supportive of the project with the caveat that the impact on Milton taxpayers be minimal to zero (with no impact being my goal) from day one.  I beleive that with this project in place, it will kick start the much needed approval for the Milton Education Village / Laurier University campus on the west side of town.  You can search my blog for “velodrome” to see more of what has been discussed.

Please take some time to visit the Town’s website and provide your input today so that council can be presented with the full picture on the January 23rd meeting when the decision is to be made.  We want to hear from you.  Click on my link to the right to contact your town councillor if you would like to send us your comments directly.  My email is mike@mikecluett.ca

NEWS RELEASE

January 10, 2012

Town of Milton seeks community input on Velodrome

The Town of Milton invites the community to provide input on the proposed Velodrome through the Town’s website, www.milton.ca .

In December 2011, Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games announced Milton as the preferred site for the Velodrome. A business plan is scheduled to be presented to Council on January 23, 2012 after which Council will decide whether or not to proceed with the Velodrome and hosting the Pan/Parapan Am Games.

“We are looking forward to learning from members of the Milton community how this major facility can best meet their recreational needs,” said Town of Milton Mayor Gord Krantz.  “I encourage everyone to visit our website to find out more about this proposed facility and what it can mean for the Milton community.”

The Velodrome webpage will include information on location, funding, timelines, as well as plans for the Velodrome after the Pan/Parapan Am Games. Public input and comments are invited to be submitted through the webpage and will be accepted until January 18, 2012.

For more information or to provide input, visit www.milton.ca/en/townhall/velodrome.asp

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For further information, please contact:        

Jennifer Reynolds – Director, Community Services – 905-878-7252, ext. 2180

Liliana Busnello – Communications Specialist – 905-878-7252, ext. 2154

City of Hamilton Was Never Back In It

As I stated in this blog  recently and in the Hamilton Spectator last week, the 2015 Pan Am Games committee has chosen Milton as the desired location for the velodrome.  The City of Hamilton couldnt get a deal finalized after being part of the process for a couple of years and didnt get the job done.

MPP Ted McMeekin said recently that Hamilton is “too late to recoup the velodrome.”

Recently Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina made comments that a silent funder had come forward to see if they can get one last chance to get the velodrome back to Hamilton, but that was once again shot down by Mr. McMeekin this week.

The Town of Milton has been chosen as the location of the velodrome pending approval by Milton Town Council.  There is one more report to review and that is slated to be before us by January 23rd at an upcoming meeting.  We have until the 24th to sign a binding agreeement with the Pan Am committee and we are awaiting the receipt of that report.

Here is the artcile from the Milton Canadian Champion/Hamilton Spectator by Matthew Van Dongen

Hamilton too late to recoup velodrome: McMeekin

Hamilton can’t buy its way back into the Pan Am velodrome race with mystery millions, says Liberal cabinet minister Ted McMeekin.

Sources told The Spectator last week a private corporation is willing to make a multimillion-dollar commitment to a permanent indoor cycling oval in Hamilton — even though Pan Am officials recently announced Milton as the facility host.

Milton has until Jan. 24 to sign a binding agreement to help fund the facility, which could cost up to $45 million.

“I guess if it doesn’t work out in Milton, everything is back on the table,” said McMeekin, the Minister of Agriculture and MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale. “But the Pan Am people have been pretty clear Milton has been selected as the (velodrome) site. Clearly, the Pan Am people have moved on.”

Unless Milton backs out, McMeekin said he didn’t know how new mystery funding could help Hamilton’s cause “after the horses have left the barn.”

Hamilton was originally the preferred site for the cycling venue, but lost that status after Pan Am officials rejected the city’s $5 million offer towards building costs. A local fundraising group has continued collecting pledges and lobbying government to build in Hamilton and, in a recent year-end radio interview, Mayor Bob Bratina cited a deep-pocketed “prospective partner” for a local velodrome.

The mayor of Milton figures that effort is too little and too late.

“Where was that interest a few weeks ago? Seems pretty late in the game,” Gordon Krantz said of Hamilton’s behind-the-scenes manoeuvring.

Krantz acknowledged that Milton’s offer could still fall through. His council is set to consider a business plan for the velodrome on Jan. 23 — the day before the Pan Am deadline for finalizing an agreement. The town of close to 90,000 is also waiting for the provincial go-ahead for a satellite university campus that Milton politicians want to pair with the velodrome.

But even if Milton retracts its bid, there’s no guarantee Hamilton will get another crack at the cycling oval. Krantz said Pan Am officials have told him they would consider building a temporary velodrome on Toronto’s port lands if Milton doesn’t commit to a permanent facility.

“I don’t think anyone is enthusiastic about that idea,” he said. “I’m hoping we can make (a permanent indoor facility) happen.”

Milton has its own private benefactor, Mattamy Homes president Peter Gilgan, who has offered $9 million in donations and cash for naming rights.

But the town would have to find at least that much money again to cover the 44 per cent municipal portion of velodrome building costs, estimated by Infrastructure Ontario at between $35 million and $45 million.

Special Council Meeting RE Velodrome December 12 2011

Again for those who missed the special council meeting last night regarding the velodrome issue, please click the following link.  More details and comments to come.  If you have any questions or concerns please email me mike.cluett@milton.ca

Town of Milton Special Council Meeting Velodrom December 12 2011

 

  

Here is the article from todays Milton Canadian Champion followed by Daniel Nolan from The Hamilton Spectator

Veledrome moves forward

Council overwhelmingly endorsed a commitment to move forward as the Pan Am velodrome’s preferred site during last night’s special council meeting.Council voted nine to two in favour of committing to funding 44 per cent of the costs of the velodrome, with only Ward 2 Councillor Greg Nelson and Ward 4 Councillor Rick Malboeuf voting against the staff-supported recommendation.

While it’s looking like a strong possibility world-renowned bikers from across the Americas will be descending on Milton during the 2015 Pan Am Games, a business plan will have to be worked out before council enters into a binding agreement with Pan Am organizers over the estimated $40 million facility.

“You hear that other municipalities tried and turned it down, so why are we moving forward with it,” said Ward 6 Councillor Mike Cluett. “We have a good working relationship with the private sector. That’s the only way this project will move forward. This is going to put a big spotlight on the town of Milton and that’s exactly what we want to do. We want to bring people to Milton.”

If approved by council, Milton will be on the hook for $17.6 million in velodrome funding, plus the cost of land and servicing the site.

Council was presented with letters of support from Mattamy Homes and TD Canada Trust, to name a few, during last night’s meeting.

Mattamy President and CEO Peter Gilgan has committed $7 million in pledged donations and $2 million for exclusive naming rights of the velodrome. Gilgan and Tim Hockey, TD Canada Trust president and CEO, also pledged support to rally behind a $3 million fundraising campaign.

“We recognize that the establishment of a permanent velodrome in Milton, already a hot bed of cycling, is a ‘game-changer’ for the sport in Canada,” wrote Hockey in a letter to the Town.

Staff will take the next month or so to work out a business plan that will identify any financial risks the Town may face in hosting facility and verify a cycling legacy in Milton.

Council will decide whether to give the project the final stamp of approval or not once the business plan is presented sometime early next year.

The Town has hired Sierra Planning and Management, the same firm that developed the Hamilton velodrome business plan, to draft the Milton version at a cost of no more than $95,000.

Malboeuf questioned the cost of the business plan. “How much money is it to edit out Hamilton and put in Milton?” he asked.

However, staff said the plan must be drafted using Milton data and taking into account the shared amenities and partnerships with the Milton Education Village, the planned site for the velodrome.

Malboeuf insisted since the velodrome debate came to light, he hasn’t heard any support for it from residents. “My concern is any time government gets involved in something, it doesn’t come out as planned…should something happen and the fundraising doesn’t come about, it’s the people of Milton who are on the hook.”

But Mayor Gord Krantz, who’s remained a strong supporter of the facility, said the velodrome would put Milton on the map. 

Milton to pursue Pan Am Games velodrome

MILTON Town council is pedalling forward with the idea of the 2015 Pan Am Games velodrome being built here after Hamilton and Vaughan parked their interests over funding questions.

Council voted 9-2 Monday night to accept a report from community services director Jennifer Reynolds to have staff look at the scheme — but with strings attached.

They committed to funding the local share of $17.6 million required for the indoor cycling facility, but only if the project cost does not exceed $40 million.

They committed to hiring a consultant to prepare a business plan — Sierra Planning and Management, which did a report for Hamilton — but not to spend any more than $95,000 for it and any other analysis. Council was told the due diligence could take four to six weeks.

Councillors also agreed Mayor Gordon Krantz would not sign any agreements with senior government levels and 2015 organizers until completion of the business plan and verification of operating costs, community use and cycling legacy needs.

Milton staff had been lukewarm to the velodrome idea after Hamilton turned it down, but the town lately received letters of financial assistance — or what Reynolds called “significant commitments” — from the private sector. This included a promise from Mattamy Homes president and CEO Peter Gilgan to donate $7 million from his firms and foundation, plus $2 million for naming rights.

The proposed site for the velodrome is in the Milton Education Village, where the town is hoping to locate a Wilfrid Laurier University campus, at Tremaine and Derry roads.

Krantz and Councillor Mike Cluett were excited about what the velodrome will mean for Milton, with Cluett saying it was a good investment, would create jobs “and will definitely put Milton on the map.”

Both men said, however, it would not be going forward without support from the private sector.

“The only way this project can move forward is with co-operation from the private sector,” Cluett added. “It helps lessen the burden on the taxpayer.”

Reynolds’ report outlined $19.8 million coming from the “host” community. She said $3.8 million would come from the town, $7 million from Gilgan, $2 million from naming rights, $3 million from a fundraising campaign, $2.5 million from the education village partner (not confirmed) and $1.5 million from in-kind capital.

Councillor Rick Malboeuf, who had opposed the velodrome at the outset last month, complimented staff on the report. He said, however, all calls he got from residents were against Milton getting involved and that his comfort level had still not been met.

“My concern is that when governments get involved with something, it doesn’t come out as planned,” added Malboeuf.

Murray Noble, senior vice-president of infrastructure for the 2015 Games, attended the meeting. In a letter to council, he said Games officials would work closely with town staff over the next four to six weeks as the velodrome plan is finalized.

Voting to proceed were Krantz, regional councillors Colin Best and Tony Lambert, and councillors Cluett, Sharon Barkley, Rick Di Lorenzo, Zeeshan Hamid, Arnold Huffman and Cindy Lunau. Voting against were Malboeuf and Greg Nelson.

dnolan@thespec.com

Council Eyeing Velodrome

From the Milton Canadian Champion By Christina Commisso

Council eyeing velodrome

The Pan Am Games velodrome has sparked the interest of Milton council.

The velodrome, an indoor track for cycling, is the only major Pan Am sports venue that’s still without a home after the City of Hamilton decided to cap its funding for the $45 million project at $5 million. Organizers, however, were looking for the host municipality to fund 44 per cent of the capital costs — about $20 million.

They’ve now reached out to communities who previously expressed an interest in hosting a Pan Am event, one of them being the Town of Milton.

“We did not go seeking this, they came to us to see if we could be interested,” Mayor Gord Krantz said during a committee meeting Monday. “I’m interested.”

However, Krantz said he wouldn’t be looking to the taxpayers to fund the local share of the project. Rather, it would be funded, if possible, through private partnerships.

The Town is proposing the Milton Education Village (MEV) location, a 150 acre-site at Derry and Tremaine Roads, house a permanent velodrome. If Pan Am organizers opt for a temporary facility, the Town is proposing the Derry Green Business Park or any existing vacant building in Milton.   

In a letter addressed to Krantz, organizers indicate they require a “shovel ready” site between five and six acres to be provided by the municipality by January 31, 2013.

Milton’s CAO Mario Belvedere pointed out the deadlines for the Pan Am site are similar to those of the MEV. Council has previously said the MEV would be shovel-ready by early 2013.

“Is that just a coincidences, or something we can look at more vigorously,” said Belvedere. “There are opportunities for project partnering by looking at other community partners who are already in place for the education village.”

But he warned that Hamilton had more than a year to work out site-selection and funding for the velodrome, and that still wasn’t enough time.

Milton has been given about a six-week window.

Organizers are looking for municipalities to express their interest and propose a site by tomorrow and a binding agreement to be signed with a host municipality by November 30.  

“Simply put, we haven’t had enough time to ask the appropriate questions,” said Belvedere.

Some of those questions include whether the interior of the velodrome could be modified to include other sports, what kind of operating subsidy would the Town receive to help with the ongoing costs of the velodrome and if the entire project can meet Pan Am’s tight timeframe.

Asked if the Town can meet the November 30 deadline, Belvedere responded, “absolutely not.”

“To be fair no one could meet those timelines. No one could put together a $40 million project in six weeks,” he said.

Krantz reiterated that he has no intentions of putting the Town’s finances in jeopardy and that the project would only move forward with private sector support.

 “There’s no doubt in my mind the Milton Education Village will be built in the next two, three, or five years. Will this fit in the college? I think it’s a perfect fit.”

He continued, “I’m looking 10, 20 years out to what the benefits of this facility may be.”

Krantz said three or four communities were approached by Pan Am organizers about the project.

While the committee voted express their interest in the Pan Am velodrome, several councillors raised concerns about the project.

“We only have six weeks for binding agreement. That’s not enough time for public feedback and that makes me nervous,” said Ward 8 Councillor Zeeshan Hamid.

He requested that the Town host a public meeting regarding the velodrome, but Belvedere said it’s best to wait and see if a private partner is found, as the velodrome wouldn’t move forward without one.

Hamid also raised concerns about ongoing operating costs.

Ward 6 Councillor Mike Cluett asked if there has been any indication from the Province regarding when MEV will move forward.

“There’s been no real contact at this early stage by the government or the ministry,” said Belvedere. “Prior to the election it was opinion of the ministry that they needed to move quickly on securing an additional 40,000 new spaces in the GTA, and that was a high priority.”

Ward 2 Councillor Greg Nelson said a velodrome would be a “hard sell” for downtown residents.

“With the hospital expansion and underpass underway, residents expect us to move forward with a razor-sharp focus,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t support funding the project with taxpayer dollars. “I hope we have Donald Trump or Richard Branson on speed dial.”

The velodrome will be an International Sports Federation-approved facility and will be used for Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games track cycling events and for training. The four-seasons velodrome will have a 250-metre track and will serve as the national training centre for Cycle Canada.

Belvedere said if organizers opt for a temporary site at the Derry Green Business Park, it would mean that area of town would receive water and wastewater services ahead of schedule. A temporary facility would be housed in a dome. When the games are over, the track would be removed and the dome could be used for indoor sports.

Mississauga councillors were expected to decide whether to bid on the velodrome at a meeting today.

A status report on the project will be presented at the November 21 Milton council meeting.

 

Milton In The Race For Pan AM Velodrome

From The Hamilton Spectator ONLINE

By Matthew Van Dongen

Milton is racing to bid for the permanent Pan Am indoor cycling facility turned down by Hamilton council.

The council for the booming town of about 90,000 decided Monday make a pitch for the controversial velodrome after receiving a letter from Pan Am officials last week offering a last-minute chance to bid on the venue.

That letter was quickly delivered to several municipalities last Wednesday after Hamilton council effectively turned down a chance to build the 250-metre track by offering only $5 million towards the project, which Infrastructure Ontario estimates could cost up to $45 million. Pan Am cities are expected to pay, or find partners to help cover, about 44 per cent of new venue costs.

“We think it could be a really good fit for us, if all the pieces fall together,” Councillor Mike Cluett said Tuesday. “But it is a really, really tight timeline … and I think the general feeling is if we can’t reduce the impact on the taxpayer, it probably won’t happen.”

Cluett said the town is putting together a basic “expression of interest” by the Oct. 20 Pan Am deadline, but noted the “real work” involves trying to find other funding partners for the pricey project before Nov. 30 — the date Games officials have set for a host municipality to sign a binding agreement.

Councillors are tentatively looking at setting aside six of about 150 acres of town-owned land already slated for a research park partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University and Sheridan College.

Cluett said staff will go first to the academic institutions to gauge interest in shared project-funding. But private sector funding, he said, will be “the main focus.”

“Milton is growing so fast and the number of companies that want to be here is huge,” he said. “We think we have an opportunity (with the velodrome) to tap into that.”

This isn’t the first time Milton has stepped up with a Pan Am rescue offer when Hamilton appeared ready to drop the ball.

The town also offered a stadium site for the Games during the long-running argument over where the new home of the Ticats should go.

Mississauga councillors are expected to decide whether to bid on the velodrome in a meeting Wednesday.

 

From CHCH News