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Downtown Penticton ice rink proposal is back

A proposal for an outdoor ice skating rink for downtown Penticton is back before city council.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / City of Penticton
June 14, 2021 - 5:24 PM

It may be a few months away from ice skating weather, but an ice rink project delayed a year due to COVID-19 will be back in front of Penticton city council tomorrow.

City staff are recommending council support Activate Penticton Society’s bid for an outdoor skating rink behind city hall in time for the 2021-22 winter season.

The idea for a 121 foot long by 49 foot wide ice skating surface located in the northern portion of city hall’s back parking lot was first pitched to council in December, 2019.

The project as proposed at the time was expected to be up and running by the winter of 2020 but COVID-19 resulted in a one year delay to the proposal.

Activate Penticton would be tasked with the costs for construction of the rink while the city would own the infrastructure when completed. Funding of washrooms and other additions would be the responsibility of the city through capital funding or a grant.

The ice rink proposal includes a refrigeration system, washrooms and perimeter lighting and would require reconfiguration of the city hall parking lot.

Activate Penticton Society is also working towards purchasing boards and perimeter netting for tournaments and game play, but the main aim is to make the facility available for free public use most of the time.

Activate Penticton also plans to purchase a city-used Zamboni for ice maintenance.

Two cost scenarios have been envisioned for the project by Activate Penticton, ranging from $438,375 to $1,043,050. The base level cost would be 100 per cent funded by Activate Penticton and the higher cost option would be dependent on additional fundraising efforts by the society, with infrastructure upgrades contributed by the city.

The city has a line on a $202,000 in grant funding, for the infrastructure upgrades, but if unsuccessful would have to make a budget amendment for $125,000.

It's hoped the facility will be able to host the BCHL 60th anniversary celebrations in January of 2022.

Staff are recommending council approve a request to apply for grant funding and a budget amendment for the city’s contribution of infrastructure upgrades for the rink at the council meeting tomorrow, June 15.

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