City to help out Pineview ice makers
The frigid temperatures of the last few days have resulted in perfect conditions for an outdoor ice rink.
Unfortunately, for residents in Pineview, the outdoor rink in their neighbourhood lies empty.
A small group of volunteers have decided they can’t continue to maintain the rink without help from the city.
Steve Blackmore, one of three residents maintaining the ice this year at the lacrosse box, said the response by the city to the group’s pleas for help have prompted the shutdown.
There used to be about 20 people who would help maintain the rink during winter, but numbers have dwindled to just three this year.
Blackmore said the city needs to understand there is a cost to maintaing the rink.
“The cost is my appetite to go out there at midnight when my family is sleeping and do all this extra volunteer work,” he said.
“It’s too much for just two or three guys.”
Blackmore initially wrote a letter to Coun. Nancy Bepple outlining his concerns.
She brought the issue up at a recent council meeting, but no action was taken.
That led to Blackmore’s decision to stop maintaining the ice.
The move appears to have caught the
attention of city staff, who now intend to meet with the volunteers to come up with a solution.
“Obviously, we’re concerned when we hear there may be an amenity in the community that’s in jeopardy due to concerns identified by the volunteers,” said Byron McCorkell, director of parks, recreation and cultural services.
However, it doesn’t appear the city plans to solve the problem with money.
McCorkell said the city’s role is to create the infrastructure, while the neighbourhood residents would be in charge of the rink’s operation.
Instead, the city will help the group “solicit support” within the community in other ways to keep the rink going.
that the city was taking an interest in the issue was welcomed by Blackmore.
He said the group, which dubbed itself the Ice Makers, is just looking for some recognition and any help it can get.