By Matthew Murray 
Roger Lajoie, vice-president of the Belleville Senators, and Rob Mullowney, chief operating officer of the team, were present and spoke with the commission about the team’s plans for the community. Mark Fluhrer, director of recreation for the city of Belleville, also spoke during a slideshow presentation to the commission.
The Belleville Senators’ plans include youth outreach programs, supporting local hockey teams and setting up a non-profit organization for charity work in the region, the team’s representatives said during the meeting.
Fluhrer discussed the economic impact the Senators organization could have on the region during his talk. Based on payroll and the amount of money the organization is looking to spend directly, the economic impact of the team on the region would be around $8 million, he said. Potentially, this number could spin off and have an impact of $20 million or more annually, with people visiting and spending time in the area, he added.
Photos of the construction work on the Yardmen Arena, as well as potential designs for the new entrances and seating, were shown to the commission during the presentation. When asked if the arena would be opening sooner than expected, Fluhrer said the construction is still on pace for November 2017.
In a question and answer period after the presentation, Lajoie and Mullowney stressed the importance of working together with not only the city of Belleville, but other local communities such as Quinte West and Brighton.
“Our vision for our team is to be a truly regional team,” Mullowney said. “If we do not have a regional impact in all of your communities, I would say to you we will fail our objective.”
Making sure that everyone is happy with the direction the Senators were looking to take the region toward is an important factor to the team, Lajoie added.
“When you’re in a business agreement, if everybody doesn’t win, then nobody wins,” he said.
In terms of the relationship between the city of Belleville and the team, Fluhrer told QNet News that everything is looking good so far.
“There’s no downside to this right now, and I’m waiting for that to happen and have been for the last year,” he said. “Literally nothing has unearthed itself to indicate that we have a problem on our hands.”
“It’s all win right now.”