A review of Hamilton’s arena operations is planned for next year and early indications are that the debate will be heated.
Councillor Terry Whitehead, a supporter of the so-called “arena rationalization review”, says examining the usage and efficiency of recreational facilities will ensure that tax dollars are being spent wisely.
That is challenged by Stoney Creek’s Brad Clark who insists that you can’t “rationalize away” important services.
He stresses that old arenas are serving a wonderful purpose, by ensuring services are available to “all of our communities”.
The debate took place as city departments started presenting their operating budget overviews for 2014.
During the coming months, councillors will work to whittle down a potential tax increase which starts at 2.8%, or 84 dollars for the owner of an “average” home valued at 266 thousand dollars.
Finance staff are assuming a police budget increase of 3.6%.