Penticton will have an outdoor ice rink this year.
Council gave unanimous approval to support Activate Penticton in putting together the new rink.
With council’s approval, the rink will be up for proposals from contractors and the aim of having the rink ready to open by the winter.
“Last week the CAO and I attended a meeting at the hotel where a lot of the who’s-who attended, and you could see the support that this project has,” said Mayor John Vassilaki.
The project had originally been brought forward in 2019 to have the facility open in 2020, but COVID-19 led to it being delayed.
The plan is to start construction in August, with the opening in December, according to Activate Penticton president Drew Barnes.
Council approved selling the city’s spare ice resurfacer to the non-profit for $18,000 instead of trading it in.
As part of the infrastructure upgrades which will be shared between the city and Activate Penticton, a replacement to the 1960s-era sewer main beneath the site of the rink will be part of the construction.
The goal is to make the rink open in December, and have it run through to February, although Barnes said that they were looking at ways to possibly expand that.
One of the other upgrades that will likely come later on, and was not in the $438,375 minimum costs for the project was to have rubber mats installed in the area around the rink, to allow people to walk to and from the rink in their skates. Out of those costs, they are looking to seek $202,000 in grant funding for infrastructure to install the rink.
“It’s so refreshing to see a collaboration that is either minimal or zero dollars attached to it,” said Coun. Campbell Watt.
The new rink will be located just north of city hall, and next to the link road that connects Main and Martin streets, taking up part of the city hall parking lot, and the plan is to eventually add a washroom facility capable of housing additional event and equipment storage for the rink.
Additional seating, fire pits and a full-sized electric Zamboni are all future goals for the rink.
As part of the project, the temporary washrooms near the site of the rink will be replaced with a permanent set designed to be vandalism resistant and open year-round.
Boards and glass to make the rink hockey ready would also come at a later date when greater funding is obtained.
An amendment to the city’s budget will be presented in the future to cover the city’s portion of costs involved in the infrastructure for the rink.
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