Funding for $32M zero carbon sportsplex retrofit will come with tax bill increase in Brampton

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Published September 6, 2023 at 10:50 am

Anthony Urciuoli/hamilton.insauga.com photo
The Susan Fennell Sportsplex (formerly South Fletcher's Sportplex) will see a major retrofit

Plans to transform the Susan Fennell Sportsplex into a zero-carbon facility will cost over $32 million and will see an increase to property tax bills in Brampton.

A report to a committee of Brampton City Council on Wednesday revealed details about the planned retrofit of the Susan Fennell Sportsplex, which will see it revamped into a zero-carbon facility and reduce 99 per cent of natural gas usage on site.

And while the retrofit will help the city reach its climate goals and reduce almost $200,000 per year in utility costs, it will also require millions of dollars in grant and taxpayer funding and will see property taxes go up.

There are plans for over a dozen eco-friendly upgrades which are expected to cost some $32.2 million and include rooftop solar panels, replacement of ice chillers, new LED lighting, swapping gas-fired heaters with electric boilers, and two new ice resurfacers among many others.

The retrofits will amount to annual greenhouse gas reductions equal to 420 homes, 550 cars taken off the road, or 30,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. City staff said the facility’s utility costs would drop by some $200,000, and the city would purchase what are known as carbon offsets to meet the project targets.

Ottawa has already committed over $15 million in funding for the retrofit, but some $7.5 million would come from a low-interest loan that would come with a tax bill increase of between 0.9 and 0.17 per cent per year.

The committee heard a proposed budget amendment on Wednesday of more than $11 million and greenlit the next phases of funding. If approved, construction is expected to start in November and will be completed in the fall of 2025.

City staff said facilities like the sportsplex make up the biggest greenhouse gas producers in Brampton, and the Susan Fennell facility’s aging infrastructure and equipment rank it in the top five of GHG producers in Brampton.

Brampton has committed to reducing greenhouse gases generated by the city to 80 per cent of 2010 levels by 2050, and the long list of retrofits planned at the facility will reduce emissions to zero carbon (100 per cent GHG reduction) and remove 99 per cent of natural gas usage.

Eco-friendly upgrades aren’t the only recent developments at the Susan Fennell. Part of the sportsplex was closed to develop the newly-opened youth hub which the city says is “a one-stop-shop for youth between the ages of 14 and 29 to create, connect and support each other.”

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