Those looking to book ice at Chatham-Kent municipal arenas will have to pay a bit more this summer.
While the 2022 summer ice season has been extended to include the months of June and July, council has approved a premium of $50 per hour, adding to existing ice rental rates for summer ice rentals. This is to offset the increased costs of operating an arena during the summer months.
Council suggests rotating summer ice in June and July between the Thames Campus Arena in Chatham and the Ken Houston Memorial Agricultural Center Arena in Dresden because they are the only arenas with the proper equipment to operate summer ice.
Current hourly ice rental rates are $152 plus tax for minor and non-prime ice time and $ 173 plus tax for prime ice time.
Prime Time Hours include Monday to Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
“At this time, it’s anticipated there will be summer ice rentals for 30 hours per week in2022 based on requests from user groups,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Rob Pollock.
He added funding for costs associated with offering an extended summer ice season was not requested during the 2022 budget deliberations as the demand for summer ice was unknown due to COVID-19 arena restrictions.
“It is estimated that there will be a 25 percent increase in operating costs to operate the facility during the summer months due to the higher outdoor temperatures,” Pollock wrote in the report.
Pollock noted that rotating the summer ice between arenas allows the ice to be removed at least once in a 24-month period, which is necessary to allow the arena floor to thaw and settle and avoid damage to the floor. He added that removing the ice also allows for appropriate proactive maintenance.
The extended summer ice operations will continue annually if there are signed ice permits with user groups committing to a combined minimum of 30 hours of summer ice rented weekly.
The summer ice service will be considered during the 2023 budget deliberations.
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News