Meadow Lake will soon have a second outdoor skating rink, though it hasn’t been embraced by all members of city council.
The proposal for the rink was brought forward by resident Trevor Gerwing and approved during city council on Sept. 26. The ice will be laid down in a vacant lot behind Bridger Dr. Construction costs will be covered by the residents asking for the ice and the site will be maintained by the city.
The majority of councillors were in support of the proposition, however outgoing councillor Annette Klassen said she wasn’t thrilled with the idea.
“First of all, we spend a lot of money on engineers to design what we have, those are our top-priced lots, not everyone wants that rink behind and I could speak to when there was a rink right behind us.”
Klassen said there’s also significant noise from the pucks and distracting lights running all night.
“My whole point is this area is the well to-do families, they can afford to transport their kids to an outdoor rink, why would we put one there?” she asked. “I’m not convinced we need another outdoor surface and I’m not convinced that would be the place to put it if we did decide to put one in.”
Klassen did later change her mind and voted for the rink. She said she’s not opposed to another ice surface if the city needs it, but still didn’t agree with the location.
Meadow Lake’s other ice rink in Westview Park is heavily utilized when the weather permits.
The proposed Bridger Dr. surface is meant to be a smaller area, more the size of a traditional “backyard” rink.
Councillor Curtis Paylor fully supported the idea and said it’s important to remember the surface is only temporary.
“If it’s not working, if there’s complaints, it is going to be a temporary thing, so I think it’s worth a try,” he said.
However, he said he was concerned about the proximity of the ice to adjacent homes.
City manager Diana Burton said the distance will be addressed by residents and the park and recreation foreman during the construction period.
She added city administration will monitor the surface and use is as a ‘test project’ to see if there’s a need for a second, permanent outdoor ice surface in Meadow Lake.
Council supported looking into putting a permanent surface in Lions Park in the future.
“We did have one at the arena and took it down due to low usage but (that’s) not to say having one in a different area wouldn’t be used,” Burton said, adding the proposed location has lots of young families who would use the surface.
City staff will flood the surface roughly once a week. The fire department fill flood the rink the first time and the city will look after snow removal and general maintenance.
The land has to be returned to its original condition following the melt at the end of winter, though there will be continuing minimal supervision.
Colton Swiderski is meadowlakeNOW's municipal affairs, crime and court, health and education reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @coltonswiderski.
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