Huntsville continues to move ahead with year-round ice rink at the Summit Centre
Huntsville General Committee agreed to continue to move ahead with a year-round ice rink at the Summit Centre, in the January 31, 2024, meeting.
According to the agenda, the 2024 budget accounts for an ice floor covering installation at the Don Lough arena starting in June, as an extension to use for the year.
Council members concurred that the goal is to have the ice installed by July 1st.
The staff report indicates, “The 2025 budget will be prepared recognizing year-round ice on the Don Lough.”
The report adds that the Town’s goal is in line with the Strategic Plan to accommodate community needs for multi-use space for year-round programming for all ages and abilities.
According to the agenda, because the ice floor covering installation conflicts with the Huntsville District Minor Lacrosse Association (HDMLA) tournament dates that continue into July 12-14, staff will work them to coordinate use at the Lake of Bays arena to support their ice needs, while keeping in line with the ice installation timeline at the Summit Centre.
Councillor, Scott Morrison, expressed the importance of meeting the needs of both the lacrosse program and taxpayers. He said, “I think this is a perfect example of finding some balance.”
Staff have requested funding support from the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association (HMATA) to assist with the cost of the ice floor covering for year-round use.
According to the staff report, costs for floor covering options are still being investigated, however, year-round use is expected to add to other ongoing costs, including $59,316.43 annually for utilities based on this year’s inflation calculations, additional blades to maintain the ice at $1,500, and $73,002.06 for increased staffing hours.
Staff will report back in the next meeting about whether HMATA will support the initiative and about their findings for an ice floor covering options for the arena.