The Calvin Kruk Centre for the Arts (CKCA) is going ahead. The project was in an alternative approval process where the city sought permission from electors to borrow up to $4 million to finish the centre. The deadline for elector response was Dec. 29.
"Unofficially we have 201 electors response forms," said Director of Corporate Administration Brenda Ginter.
There would have had to be 719 forms for the issue to go to a referendum.
Mayor Mike Bernier clarified that the number of forms counted is unofficial because the city did not verify to see which were eligible electors or not.
"We're not going to bother going in and verifying them all because it's a moot point," he said.
The next steps towards the CKCA completion will see the forth and final reading of the loan authorization bylaw at Jan. 10 city council meeting.
"Council is able to adopt it because through this process they've received the approval of the electors," said Ginter, noting that money would be borrowed as required throughout the project's construction phase.
In the meantime, Bernier said the city would be contacting the Project Manager Greg Dobrowolski to redraw the tender documents, so that construction can begin as soon as possible.
They city hopes to go to tender early in the new year - a process which lasts 30 days. After which, a tender will be likely be awarded late January, said Bernier.
"If we can close the tenders in January, I'd like to see construction start in February."
He said the city hopes that those bidding on the tender will sharpen their pencils so that the city won't have to borrow the whole amount in order to finish the centre.
"But at least we have permission from the community to do that now," he said.
So far the city has received well over $7 million in grants and donations, and they continue to see donations coming in.
If the mayor's anticipated timeline works out, the CKCA should only be a couple of months behind schedule, he said.
"[That] means we should still be able to open up in 2011 - towards the latter part of 2011," he said.
The original opening date was set for September 2011.
Bernier recognized that although many people were in favour of the centre going ahead, there were some who were not on board.
"The important thing is the community has come out," Bernier said. "And whether people are in favour or not, a lot of people have realized that even if they're not totally happy with it - some people did come in and sign the counter petition. We don't want to diminish that fact that this isn't 100 per cent, but it is a democratic process."
The mayor said he was happy to see a lot of positive communication going on throughout the community during the alternative approval process.
"People really stepped forward and talked about how important this was to the downtown, how important it was to the future of the community," he said. "And as a council, that's the one thing that's always part of the job is not thinking today, you have to think of 10, 20 years from now, how do things have to look and build to that. So this centre is really important as we continue building the community.
"It's really important to the community, and it's really an important project that council recognizes as whole that we need to move forward with."