The picture seems to be getting murkier when it comes to a new arena in North Bay.

Councillor Mark King, who heads the Arena Committee, says that having such a variety of options can be both a blessing and a curse.

King has the sense that City staff are ready to begin going through the privately-owned properties that were brought forward during the application process.

It was during this time that word emerged of a possible bid at the current North Bay Mall that may have snuck under the wire before the deadline.

Also in play are private holdings from the Near North District School Board at West Ferris Intermediate and Secondary School, a business-minded proposal located on Pinewood Park Drive from Jesse Shortt and Renzo Silveri, and a parcel of land at the top of College Drive owned by Nipissing University.

While indications are that the City would prefer to build a twin-pad arena in the West Ferris area (and have selected the Steve Omischl Complex as a preferred site), nothing is off the table as the City of North Bay mulls this over. This is one that must be done properly from beginning to end, a notion King has publically agreed with.

King says once staff have had their discussions, the Arena Committee will have their say. Ultimately, the decision will be made by City Council and King says if one of the private properties is chosen, the vote will happen behind closed doors as all City-involved land transfers must.

This all means that one of the most expensive (an estimated $30 million cost) decisions in the City of North Bay’s history, dealing with building a place for citizens to enjoy themselves on the ice, could come during the dog days of summer.