Council begins to crunch numbers for big rink rehabilitation project

Staff Reporter

BARRY’S BAY – When the Madawaska Valley Town Council met on September 22 it was largely to discuss the Paul J Yakabuski Community Centre. It became clear to the township as early as March that the forty-year-old facility is in need of significant attention, but given the chaos of the pandemic and the time needed to hear back on a grant application to the federal government, the matter of the rink has not figured largely in the council’s deliberations for some months.

As The Valley Gazette reported recently, the Investment in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) grant, which the council had hoped would finance around three-quarters of the estimated $2 million-plus project, did not succeed. The council heard about this in August and is now considering what to do about the expensive undertaking.

In that light, on September 22, the council considered the report of Recreation and Community Development Coordinator Stephanie Plebon, examined financing options through Infrastructure Ontario Loans, the status of reserve funds, and other related matters.

The discussion of these matters was carried out in-camera, and the documents which are being examined here were made public the day after the council meeting. These were amended to exclude matters in keeping with the township’s confidentiality by-laws, in this case, because it involved the formulation of a engineering tender, which would “prejudice significantly the competitive position or interfere significantly with the contractual or other negotiations” of the municipality. Accordingly, the costs of the specific items identified as in need of repair or replacement were removed.

Plebon’s report detailed the various aspects of the building and ice facilities in need of attention, as well as proposed schedules for the work. The list is extensive. The ‘priority’ items alone include the ice slab and boards, fire alarm system/CO2 detectors, scoreboard, rubber flooring, and sledge hockey boards.

Additional items which were not identified as priorities, but were accorded repair or replacement dates between 2020 and 2034, include, for example, ice plant upgrades, dressing room renovations (including washrooms/showers), kitchen renovations (including stove, ventilation/hood, cupboards, stainless steelwork), Community Centre washroom renovations, parking lot drainage/pavement replace, hot water heaters, electronic sign at highway replacement, security camera system, building masonry repair, as well as many other things.

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