The vision of a 37m by 15m outdoor rink in downtown Penticton will become a reality this coming winter following Council’s decision Tuesday to support the Activate Penticton Society’s pitch to design and operate this proposed facility on a portion of a City owned parking lot adjacent to City Hall
Following a presentation outlining the design, operational plan, technical analysis, grant opportunities and financial implications of supporting the project, Council directed staff to develop an operation and maintenance agreement and licence to use between the City of Penticton and the Activate Penticton Society for the lands at 107 Main Street.
“Council first learned of this wonderful idea in December 2019 and received its most recent update in December 2020. Over the course of this period a considerable volume of work has been undertaken to develop this project further and to plan out the costs to make it happen,” said Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki. “While there’s still work to do, it was clear to Council today that the Activate Penticton Society, by way of their vision, will contribute and create a great downtown amenity that will provide much needed positive activity in the downtown core and give economic benefit to our downtown businesses, especially during the winter months. Likewise, the City’s contribution of the needed land and supporting infrastructure will make sure this project is a success.”
Two cost scenarios have been developed to build the rink with the first, funded entirely by the Activate Penticton Society, projecting a base price of $438,000 to construct the ice surface pad and a second, long-term projection, of approximately $1,043,505 that would lead to the realization of the entire vision byway of future fund raising efforts led by the society.
Infrastructure upgrades associated with the rink’s construction will be provided by the City and will include $200,000 from the City’s 2021 Financial Plan Capital Budget for the construction of new washrooms alongside the rink. The City will maintain the landscaping and any vegetation around the rink and will retain the responsibility of snow clearing in the neighbouring City parking lot. Ongoing operating costs associated with the rink, such as maintenance and snow clearing on the ice, will be borne by the Activate Penticton Society.
"The outdoor public skating rink has been a huge challenge for Activate Penticton Society and unfortunately we have had a one year delay but we are now excited to share that the rink will be ready for public skating in December 2021. There has been so much support from the community for this project we can't wait to make the dream a reality,” Activate Penticton President, Drew Barnes. "At this point it's a go, we are hoping to get some more donations and support from the local community but we have reached funding goals to have the rink operational this year, the additional funding will just make the amenity space that much more special, such as the addition of boards and glass, fire pit, more landscaping and eating areas"
“We’re looking forward to making this rink a reality for the community of Penticton”, said Penticton Vees Owner, Graham Fraser. “This rink will allow everyone an opportunity to get outside and play.”