Despite a committee recommendation to go with a cheaper arena seat, town council has opted for what Community Services manger George Bell called a much better model.
The original seat up for approval at Monday night’s council meeting was the Ducharme 500, a floor-mounted model that came with a $22,940 savings towards the building project.
The seat council settled on instead was the Ducharme Maxima, which was a little more expensive but still comes with a savings of $10,720.
“It’s a seat with a longer seating area, longer arms, and much more comfortable,” noted Mayor Glenn Witherspoon.
“We all tried it out,” agreed Coun. Sharon Tibbs.
The other benefit to the Maxima is that it will be easier to clean under the seats at the new arena if they’re mounted on risers. While it isn’t know for certain if riser mounting can be done with the Maxima, Bell said it cannot be done with the Ducharme 500 model.
The savings from the seats offsets the extra money it took to do the piling testing earlier on in the arena project, Bell said, which, according to the last report from project manager Brian Avis, was about $10,000.
Meanwhile, council also decided Monday night to put the air-conditioning unit back into the plans for the new arena’s lobby at a cost of about $25,000.
“If we’re building a facility of that magnitude, air-conditioning in the lobby area is very important,” argued Coun. Roy Avis. “That’s the area that people will be coming into in the summertime.”
Avis said having air-conditioning would make a better first impression on arena visitors. Plus the town should take into consideration the comfort of the people who have to work in the arena lobby.
Mayor Witherspoon noted the cost for the air-conditioning could be taken out of the rink’s contingency fund, which stands around $150,000.
But Coun. Bill Martin was in favour of saving the $25,000, noting it’s not very often you’d need air-conditioning in the arena lobby.
“If it is a major impact, we can vote to put it in [later],” he said, noting the project didn’t hinge on the arena having air-conditioning right off the bat.
“But right now, we’re under construction and we’re looking at $25,000 in savings” he stressed.
Council voted 5-1 in favour of installing the air-conditioning, with Coun. Martin being the lone opposed.