City council votes on Memorandum of Understanding
There was huge news out of Steinbach city council Tuesday night. The city approved a Memorandum of Understanding to sell several parcels of land to Steinbach Credit Union so it has enough parking for its new building. The $1.3 million dollars from the land sale will go into a reserve fund for a new recreation and cultural multiplex to be built downtown.
The city has also offered to sell the curling club to the credit union for $295,000.00 and then build a new curling rink in cooperation with the Steinbach Curling Club. That part of the deal requires ratification by the curling club.
Mayor Chris Goertzen notes the credit union will allow the city to use its parking lot after business hours for the multiplex. He says the multiplex will be built in phases, starting with the curling club, which is to be ready by 2014. Goertzen adds, "We own about two blocks of land along Elmdale Drive and that is where we expect to move forward with that. We're not building everything at once. We're looking at phases and making sure that we cover the bases that need to be covered when it comes to culture and recreation and that we do it very prudently and fiscally responsibly." He says the city will have $5.5 million dollars in place for a multiplex by 2014 and looks forward to significant private contributions as well. The city will launch a $100,000.00 dollar study later this year into how best to proceed with the complex.
Steinbach Credit Union President Ted Falk says the land sale is pivotal in their plans for a new building. "This agreement will allow us to begin plans to construct our new main branch right here on Main Street in downtown Steinbach. It will allow us to facilitate the additional parking requirements that we envision with our new construction. We're also very excited that we can enter into a shared parking agreement with the City of Steinbach. We just think that it makes lots of sense to share infrastructure and to maximize use of all facilities in downtown Steinbach." Falk adds the credit union has 300 employees and also brings another 1,000 people downtown every day.
SCU also announced it will give the city $1.2 million dollars towards acquiring the naming rights of a new multiplex. Goertzen welcomes the investment and says, "That's a great start to the private donations that we expect to really help build this multi-use facility. It's really the start of two great projects for our downtown with the credit union's new retail facility and for the city with a multi-use complex."
Goertzen says building the facility downtown will ensure the heart of the city remains a vibrant place both day and night.