Tuesday, February 16, 2010

York Arena gets stay of Execution (excerpts from Daily Gleaner article published February 16, 2010)

Fredericton city councillors are planning to rescind a motion to demolish the York Arena once the Grant * Harvey complex opens. City councillors lifted the resolution passed by a previous council at a weekend meeting.

"There will be a motion coming forward based on consensus that we will rescind our motion to take down the York Arena and the instruction will be given to staff to bring back a report that gives us, as a municipality, the true cost of fixing it up, maintaining it and running it," said Mayor Brad Woodside on Monday.

Setting aside the resolution will give council some breathing room to do a more detailed investigation of the costs associated with maintaining a sixth city-owned ice surface in the capital city.

The Save the York Arena citizens' group submitted a detailed brief on the ice-time needs of people in the Fredericton area and said the cost of bringing the arena up to modern building codes and running it would still be cheaper than trying to build a sixth ice rink from scratch.

"We had a good presentation (from the Save the York Arena group). It's important to maintain that goodwill with the community and we'll look at the facts," the mayor said.

The city will ask ADI Ltd., which did an assessment of city rinks and swimming pools in February 2004, to update its numbers from that report. The consulting firm estimated it would cost $1 million to bring the arena up to code and another $2.3 million to refurbish the building. The Save the York Arena group isn't looking for a lavish retrofit, but the basics to provide needed ice time.

Woodside said council wants to hear the updated financial information and review the numbers."Rescinding the decision doesn't necessarily mean we won't go through (with demolition). It means that we do not want to have the pressure of a motion that was made by a previous council to restrict us from looking further and investigating further into that issue," Woodside said.

No comments: