Council agrees to maintain status quo with local arenas

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KAWARTHA LAKES-Over the last year an Arenas Working Group met to explore how best to provide arena services to residents while reducing the annual operating deficit of the facilities. At Tuesday’s meeting council considered the recommendations made by the group and decided to adopt some of them.

The recommendations adopted by Council include:

  • Maintaining the Manvers, Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, Lindsay and Woodville arena facilities as required for continued operations;
  • Scheduling the Ops arena for a complete refurbishment to bring it up to date and ensure its viability;
  • Exploring a new arena complex in the Oakwood/Little Britain area with the goal of combining the two existing facilities. A single and twin pad format will be studied, as well as the opportunity to combine additional facilities in the same location; and
  • Explore building a new arena complex in the Village of Omemee to replace the existing Emily/Omemee complex. The existing facility is dated and in need of substantial capital investment to extend its life cycle.

Staff will now report back by June of 2018 on the requirements in order for the above recommendations to take place.

Representatives says any future decisions will impact the 10 year financial plan which is based on maintaining all 10 ice surfaces as status quo and the group says longer term planning will allow the City to capitalize on grant opportunities as they arise.

“I’m pleased with the discussions and feedback we’ve had through the Arenas Working Group. We’ve heard from users across the City and I believe these recommendations show a balance between what arena users want and what is reasonable to ask taxpayers to support. We need to invest in the arenas that have life-span left and build better facilities in the locations where the most users will benefit. This is a good plan to accomplish that,” commented Mayor Andy Letham.

The Arenas Working Group and the Arena User Groups will continue to work together to reduce the operating deficits. There will be a staff report on operational savings and efficiencies following the 2018-19 arena season.