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Town banks on rink project


The new arena will be included in the town’s $4.4-million debenture even though it hasn’t been decided yet exactly where the project will go from here.

With interest rates on the rise, Administration and Finance manager Darryl Allan told the Committee of the Whole on Monday that it was best for the town to secure the financing at 6.3 percent over 20 years.

The debenture will help finance the water pollution control plant, where the town remarketed its own debenture, as well as the auditorium at Westfort and the arena.

"The intention is that there will be some sort of an ice facility," Allan noted "So we will need that money at some time."

"And for the period that we have it and do not use it, we can reinvest it," added Coun. Deane Cunningham.

The amount the town earns on the reserve investment should equal what it pays in interest for the debenture, with Allan noting the rate of return was "pretty healthy."

That move has "Ice for Kids" even more optimistic about getting the arena project rolling again.

"I think that it just reaffirms that they’re committed to the project," co-chair Dave Egan said yesterday. "I hope we can sit down and get the process going again."

Meanwhile, council hasn’t decided what it will do with a request from L. M. Architects that it be considered for the arena project. Instead, the decision was referred to a later meeting.

Mayor Glenn Witherspoon noted the architects, who designed the proposed 87,000 sq. ft. "L-shape" facility the town kiboshed earlier this month, requested they continue to be involved in the project.

"They just want to be part of the action because they’re the big losers in this," he said, referring to council’s decision to terminate its contract with Windfield Construction Ltd. after the company failed to come up with a performance bond.

But council wants to meet with "Ice for Kids," and get input from other user groups, before proceeding any further, Mayor Witherspoon said. Though no meeting has been scheduled, he hoped it would happen sometime next week.

In anticipation of that meeting, "Ice for Kids" came up with a unified vision last Thursday for what kind of rink it would like to see built here.

That vision includes a side-by-side, double-rink facility, featuring a North American-sized ice surface and an Olympic-sized one, at the Memorial Arena site.

The North American rink will have seating for 1,200 while the Olympic will have only minimal seating (the reverse of what the original "L-shaped" design had proposed).

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