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Monday February 3rd, 2014

Posted at 11:10pm

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Windsor City Council approved a $607,380 tax forgiveness grant but turned down a request to provide a $300,000 development fee waiver for the indoor soccer facilities at Central Park Athletics.

James King of King Development was on hand at the council meeting to present a case for why the construction project applied for the waiver under the city’s Community Improvement Plan.

“Again we are bringing 250-500 jobs. We also are creating tourism; we are bringing people here into the city who are staying overnight, creating income for the community, not only that but a quality of life for the community,” said King. “We feel that we had an opportunity to take this facility and turn it into something really good for the community and create something that we don’t have. And this is what it’s all about.”

Council debated the issue while raising questions to the developer and discussing the details.

“You are going to make some good money on this project, do you really need ours?” asked Ward 10 Councillor Al Maghnieh.

City administration recommended the request be turned down for several reasons, one being due to Windsor already having the lowest development costs per square foot for commercial developments in the province for a city of its size. Another reason some council members turned down the credit was to avoid setting a president, encouraging other developers to apply for similar requests.

“For those of you who say we should do the development charge credit -– fair ball — but I say to you what’s going to happen tomorrow when St. Clair College calls and says ‘by the way we never got a development charge credit and look what we built. We built a tourism draw with our new gym and our new sports complex.’ What do we say to the University when the University calls and says ‘by the way we built a stadium, we have Pan-Am Games here. We have a world class facility; we never got a development charge credit,’” said Mayor Eddie Francis.

Council voted 5-5 and the deciding vote against was cast by Mayor Eddie Francis.

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