Bill Burgoyne Memorial Arena was built and paid for by community volunteers and then entrusted to the City to operate for the benefit of our citizens. I have vigorously supported upgrades and improvements to this, the only indoor ice rink in the north-end. Numerous works have been done, but more needs to happen and some specific structural repairs require urgent attention.
In particular, the lower course of cinder blocks on the outside walls of the building are deteriorating badly in some places and sizeable voids are visible. I noticed this last spring and brought it to the attention of our staff. As one of the initiators and first chair of the Ice Users Committee, I have long advocated for better maintenance of our recreational and cultural facilities. Recent experience with the emergency closure of Rex Stimers Memorial Arena highlights the need for more diligent preventative care and oversight of all our capital assets. Council recently agreed to allocate some money towards a comprehensive condition assessment of arenas, however reacting to long-festering problems when they ultimately explode is neither an effective nor responsible way to operate.
Earlier this year I was pleased to assist the Garden City Kiwanis Hockey League and other ice user groups here to force the withdrawal of a controversial motion to explore the feasibility of third-party facility management of Bill Burgoyne Memorial Arena. I am relieved the idea of turning over the only rink in the north-end to a private operator has been quashed.
This rink is an important community hub and was built by members of the community through their own fund-raising and hard work, and given to the city on the promise we would maintain and run it. We must live up to this obligation.