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Local News

Hastings City Council asked: What is the city's role in ice skating rink facility?

The Hastings City Council Monday was asked what they saw as the city’s role in a planned ice skating rink and community venue for family and business events.

 

Following the success of an ice skating rink at Tyden Park proposed and promoted by Councilman Bill Redman a few years ago, he researched permanent rinks and has put the wheels in motion for an ice skating rink on the basketball courts at Tyden Park that could also be used in the summer for weddings, reunions, birthday parties, business meetings and other group activities.

 

The total cost is an estimated $6 million, Redman said.  He has a pledge of $200,000 from a donor, “with the promise of $300,000 behind that.” After the facility is built, he said, there would “moderate fees to pay for expenses.” Every city he visited with a rink broke even on expenses, and the state may have grants available. He has asked the Barry Community Foundation to hold the funds, but hasn’t head back yet.

 

City Manager Jeff Mansfield said now that the group is raising money, the city needs well-documented concepts from anyone who builds on city land that the city will be able to legally defend. Does the city take ownership after it’s built and operate it on a break even basis?  he asked.

 

Council members agreed there was a lot of work to be done, and specific information was needed to get clear outlines of the city’s responsibilities, or even if they even wanted to commit to another entertainment venue in the city. Councilwoman Brenda McNabb-Stange called for at least a business plan of sorts for the council to study. “Do they know what they will spend in the first year? Donors would like to know that, too.”

 

Councilman Don Bowers said he didn’t think the city had to money to support it, “I don’t think that it’s reasonable at this time, to keep it running year after year...”.  Councilman John Resseguie also wanted more information on the plans. “It’s kinda hard to come up with dollars and cents with just a little information.”  But he strongly supported the idea, saying the city needs to bring people in during the winter season too, otherwise the city will “dry up.”

 

If the city does not take over the facility, they will need documentation and those raising money will need to understand they need a well-documented agreement, an organizational setup with attorneys to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, Mansfield said.

 

“I’m not opposed, but I recommend extreme caution...this is a group with no legal underpinnings…we want to make sure we don’t replicate that situation (with a dog park committee),” he said.

The consensus was for Mansfield and city Attorney Stephanie Fekkes to work on an agreement and, “go from there.”  

 

 

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