City Denies Counter Offer to Help First Arena

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The Elmira City Council has decided they will not be able to provide any financial assistance to Chemung County for the First Arena on Thursday. 

In January, the County requested the City of Elmira to assist financially with the First Arena. It was initially proposed that the City and County would equally split the cost of $1.5 million for ice plant repair at the Arena. 

In addition to the $750,000, the County also asked the City for $700,000 earlier this month to cover payables from this season before ownership transfer. The total payment of $1,450,000 would have been extended over a five-year period and would cost the City about $320,000 a year. The payment would require a three percent property tax increase each year. 

Given the City’s financial condition, the City said it was unable to provide any assistance. 

On Wednesday, the County proposed a counter offer that the City and County would equally split the $1.5 million for ice plant repair. The request for the additional $700,000 was withdrawn by the County. 

Given the City’s financial condition, the City will not be able to provide any financial assistance to the County for ice repair. 

The news shocked County officials as a meeting was held awaiting the city’s response Thursday morning.

“Council gave us a very strong message today, after they said they were willing to invest, I think it will jeopardize many of the other projects they have going on,” said Santulli.  “I think it’s unfortunate.”

As for what the future of the arena holds, Santulli said he thinks the city’s decision will ultimately lead to closing, at least by the end of the season and the prospective buyer is unaware of the city’s denial to provide funding at this time.

Stick with 18 News on-air and online as new details become available.

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