National Speed Skating coach Bart Schouten’s request to rent the space from July 7 – 16 came at short notice to council, and that’s what led Mayor Lori Ackerman to decide it was not a feasible decision.
The issue surrounds an estimated $50,000 in gas and electricity bills resulting from maintenance of the ice, while the 4 hours a day for 10 days of practice would only generate an estimated $6,000 in revenue.
“The city has worked hard to establish the Pomeroy Sports Centre speed skating oval on the National Speed Skating scene and welcomes the opportunity to host this training event in the future,” The City Manager said in the report. “Unfortunately, the short time notice does not allow the city ample time to rent out the other ice surfaces which would offset the cost.”
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While allowing the community to engage in more ice activities would help bring down costs, Acting Director of Leisure Services, Stacey Miranda says there are no viable recreational booking for ice time in the foreseeable future.
Councillor Trevor Bolin was the first to express his disapproval, and went on to remind council of the motion to cancel all rentals and booking from June 16 – July 19 if the request was approved.
“If we did have a storm on Canada Day and want to use those facilities, we wouldn’t be able to do that,” Bolin said. “Any dry floor users, 1 – 5 would have to be cancelled in order for this to happen…For this to come before us, to be happening less than a month from now…it’s a little bit crazy.”
However, the resolution is set to strengthen the relationship between the city and the National Speed Skating team, while they’ll be encouraging similar events for the future.