Sundre town councillors, several town staff members and a representative from the chamber of commerce met in-camera with Jungle Jim Hunter last week to hear the latest on Hunter's proposal for the construction of an athletic training centre in town.
The committee called the meeting so Hunter could outline his plans in detail, said town council and committee member Paul Isaac, who along with fellow town councillor Chris Vardas and two staff members make up the committee.
“We talked for about four and a half hours,” said Isaac. “It (the meeting) was only to get information to everyone who needed to have information.
“From there it goes to facilities committee to discuss what to present to the governance committee (on Apr. 26) and then from there, if it moves further at that point, it goes to administration for a request for decision and then if it goes to council it will get voted on, and at that point in time, if it does move forward, from there on in everything will be in public.”
Although the latest plans Hunter discussed with councillors at the April 16 closed-door meeting have not been made public, in March he did outline a proposal for a multi-million dollar Sundre recreation facility, including two ice arenas, to town council.
He is calling the proposed facility the National Athletic Training Centre (NATC).
The project calls for the Town of Sundre to donate the land for the centre, although the exact location has not been determined, he said.
The proposed new facility would include two ice arenas under one structure, a field house with indoor track, climbing wall, team building area, fitness training area, a teaching facility with state-of-the art video and computer technology, paralympic accessibility to all facilities and spaces, team parade route by statues and/or other visual tributes “to the greatest athletes in the world”, and a media centre and coaches' resource centre.
He also told council the estimated first state capital costs of the project would be $6.5 million for the first 1,000 seat arena, $4 million for the field house, $500,000 for cleaning equipment such as the Zamboni ice resurfacer, $900,000 for fitness equipment, $700,000 for office, meeting rooms and furnishings.
The second stage would be $5 million - $6 million for the second arena.
He said under the proposed project, the Town of Sundre would provide all roads and services up to the edge of the property where the centre would stand.
Hunter also said JHM wishes to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Town of Sundre to “work together over the next four months to establish a formal partnership agreement for the creation of the National Athletic Training Centre in Sundre.
“MOU execution is required now to minimize risks and ensure alignment of objectives for both of us,” he said.
No MOU has been sighed between Hunter and the Town of Sundre, and no business plan for the NATC has yet been made public.
Meanwhile, half a dozen other proposals to build a new arena in Sundre that have come before council remain before the facilities committee.