Cold Lake North Arena will continue operating for another season.
City council voted to fund the arena as a hockey venue for the next 12 months after the response from Cold Lake Minor Hockey who said they’d have to cap registrations if the North Arena closed.
The City is also hiring a firm to inspect the arena’s long-term lifespan while paying attention to the structural integrity and internal pipping underneath the rink.
“Once we have a report from the firm, we’ll decide how much money we’re going to invest in modernizing the arena,” said Mayor Craig Copeland on The Morning After.
“We know we’re going to need a third rink eventually, but if we can put some money into the North Arena and keep it going for another 10 or 15 years, I think that would be wise money.”
The cost estimated to keep the facility operational for 2020-21 is $300,000.
Other proposals for the arena have included dismantling it, but this would have a direct impact on local minor league teams as well as the Inter-Municipal Collaboration Framework (ICF) with the M.D. of Bonnyville.
There have also been pushes from Lakeland Lacrosse to take over the facility and cease it’s ice-making operations.
“The M.D. of Bonnyville’s been very good with recognizing that North Arena is part of the ICF and that M.D. youth are using it,” said Copeland.
“The Reeve [Greg Sawchuk] and [M.D.] council recognize that the arena as an important facility in the larger community and they’re here to help us.”
When city council passed the 2020 budget, the North Arena was not funded.
City staff recommended in council documents that North Arena remain open should they hesitate on what to do in the long-term.