BUCKHORN — A proposed new sports pad with refrigerated artificial ice on Buckhorn Community Centre property is no longer feasible because the centre does not want to sell any land to Trent Lakes Township to accommodate the project, township council learned Tuesday.
Township officials had hoped the centre’s operators would agree to sell land to the municipality so its ballpark area could be used to refrigerate the existing sports pad.
But township council received a letter from the centre at its regular meeting Tuesday outlining its reasons for turning down the land request, noting there is no “clearly defined set of needs, a planned solution, and a public mandate supporting it” and centre officials do not consider the existing status quo sports pad “a failed facility.”
It also said the sports pad project has a place in the township’s parks, recreation and culture master plan and the centre is proceeding with its own strategic plan, defining its role as a community hub within the master plan.
A feasibility study on the project, presented to council in September, looked at options for extending the ice season at the sports pad which currently has a natural ice surface built in 2009.
The study recommended three options but in all scenarios, the community centre’s baseball diamond would be encroached upon by septic system requirements and in all scenarios for NHL-size rinks the baseball diamond would need to be relocated, the study said.
In response to the letter, Coun. Carol Armstrong made a motion, which was passed by council, acknowledging the letter and directing staff to continue operating the sports pad as it is now.
Mayor Janet Clarkson, who voted against that motion, said she feared it meant there would be no discussion about an alternative location for a new sports pad.
Armstrong responded, saying her intent was to close any options suggested for the use of property at the centre, and that discussion of another location is “an entirely different initiative and conversation that we could have.”
“I just don’t think that this precludes any other options,” said Coun. Terry Lambshead. “I think this is now making us decide that we’re not going to do any more there (at the centre). Wherever else or whatever else is decided will be decided by a council, whether it be this one or the next.”
He said he will make a motion at a future meeting about what next steps can be taken for the sports pad.
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner