An ad hoc committee, which was recently formed to look into the future of the two arenas in Douro-Dummer Township, will be asking council Tuesday to begin a community engagement process to identify community needs so that planning can take place to upgrade the facilities.
The committee is also planning to hold an information session at the Douro Minor Hockey kickoff day on Sept. 24 and will invite the broader community, stakeholders and neighbouring user groups to attend.
In April, council received a request from Douro Minor Hockey to consider upgrades to the arenas.
At time, council passed a resolution that a working group be established made of staff, a member of council and representatives from Douro Minor Hockey to explore options, noting that "Douro Minor Hockey is a strong organization that has provided healthy recreation opportunities for children and youth for generations."
A report from Jim Bailey, vice-chair of the ad hoc committee, which will be presented to council at the Tuesday meeting, states that many communities in the region have undertaken significant improvement projects at their arenas in recent years, and provincial and federal funding programs often require capital projects to be shovel-ready.
It also says the property at the Douro Community Centre can accommodate future growth and expansion.
Drawing from the feedback received through community engagement, the committee would then create a list of the most desirable uses and potential partners and user groups, states the report.
After township staff reviews the viability of the project, a feasibility study would be conducted with a focus on desired uses and possible investments, followed by a costing study.
Finally, a strategy to create a shovel-ready project and a plan to proactively seek funding opportunities would be developed, says the report.
Members of the ad hoc committee have volunteered to facilitate a community engagement process over the next two to three months, saying it would cost thousands of dollars to hire outside help.
"The volunteers have experience and skills to support a successful community engagement process, " says the report. "Should council approve the request, the committee would immediately launch a survey, building on a survey that was initially launched in 2017 and would begin promoting the survey at key community events throughout the township in the coming weeks."
Other members of the committee are chair Coun. Heather Watson, Kerri Riel, Gerard Sullivan and Liam Ryan, along with township staff.
Following the community engagement process, the ad hoc committee will report back to township council with its findings.
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner