City wants to spend over $230,000 even though plaza is not yet approved

Civic Plaza

In a move which appears to be placing the cart before the horse, city council is going to be asked Monday to allow PUC to start doing electrical work for the downtown plaza.

According to a report to council from Tom Vair, deputy CAO, the more than $230,000 ask is already in the approved budget for the project. However, the full project is not fully funded nor approved yet.

Earlier this week the city started a fundraising campaign which has faced severe backlash on social media, to raise the $2.5 million deficit in the project’s budget.

“The completion of the electrical servicing work is an important component of the
downtown plaza project. If the project is to proceed in any form, the electrical
servicing work will need to be undertaken to facilitate the project,” says the report.

Why is the city in such a hurry to approve this, when the overall project is both not well supported by the public and not yet fully approved?

Is this a way to come back in a month or so and say… “well, the electrical is already started, so we might as well finish the job,” if the money isn’t fundraised?

Mayor Provenzano is on the record as saying even if the fundraising doesn’t happen, he expects there to be a plaza of some sort built.

So far, multiple calls on the city’s Facebook and other social media platforms to re-direct this money into other uses have gone unanswered.

SaultOnline will be airing Monday’s council meeting which starts at 4:30 on our Facebook page and ONNTV. We will also bring you the results, live, of those councillors who vote to approve this expenditure as well as those who vote against.



  1. This will not make me want to go downtown. I do not even shop downtown except for the mall. It will be full of people who live down there and not those who do not. Downtown area scares me and I am sure I am not the only one.

  2. What part of ,”We don’t want this waste of taxpayers money ” do the Mayor and council don’t get?
    Is there not one ounce of common sense with these individuals.

  3. What the people who built our city want doesn’t not mean a thing. The politicians build it for nobody but themselves. We need people to run our city that know what the value of a dollar is, not greedy crooks.

  4. The Mayor Provenzano is already fixing up the boardwalk for tourist. The problems with that is tourists don’t stay there long. When the tourists show up the bums and drug addicts come out of the woodwork and beg for money , that’s when the tourists leave. Building a new $ 230,000.00 plaza will only move the drug addicts from the boardwalk to the New Plaza , smart thinking Mr. Provenzano.

  5. “Mayor Provenzano is on the record as saying even if the fundraising doesn’t happen, he expects there to be a plaza of some sort built.”

    So who cares what the taxpayers have to say is basically what he says. And the rest of you councillors have zero backbone to stand up for the constituents.

    This project has not been given the go ahead, but it will and it will cost us a lot.

    This is another fiasco like the Studio 10 property purchase, cutting daycare and bussing. And let’s not forget how this mayor and his council bought into the whole line of BS that the former Fire Chief fed them and cut that service. That also cost us a lot. We have had over 6 years of this mayor’s amateur or immature moves, not sure which description fits the best here. Maybe both. Next thing you know he’ll be trying to slide into some high paid city job and we’ll be stuck with him longer.

  6. We didn’t want the new city logo….so what.
    We didn’t want to buy Studio 10 property….so what.
    We don’t want the ferrochrome plant….so what.
    We don’t want the downtown plaza….so what.
    Council do what they want, when they want, while we have to beg for local improvements. The roads are a mess. Crime is ever increasing and criminals are set free to commit more crimes. The drugs are freely flowing and many are dying.
    But everything will be better if we spend millions on a downtown plaza and please the downtown merchants. What a crock of horse manure!

  7. It is way too late for council to get out of this one. To save face they will go ahead with any possible support coming for the merchants in the area of the build. It is just astounding that they want to put a rink in there when we have one at clergue park and let’s not forget the Bondar tent could handle almost all of their other intentions.

    • Exactly!!
      This money can go to better things like hiring more police officers, the opioid crisis, the crime rate!!

      Not too mention the waste of money of a train station when we don’t even have passenger service! A 6 million dollar train station for an over priced tourist train that is always half empty and only runs 3 months of the year?!
      Bring back passenger service from sudbury right up to white river. We don’t need a full train, just a bus car with a baggage car like they have from Sudbury to White River!! It will always be full.

      We need a new city council. One that actually cares for what is important in this city.

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