Mustangs appeal to Melfort for expanded ice season

·2 min read

MELFORT — Northern Lights Palace user groups are asking the Melfort city council to postpone removing the ice surface.

Melfort Mustang coach Trevor Blevins asked the council at the Feb. 1 city council meeting to hold off on their decision to remove the ice from the Northern Lights Palace on Feb. 15 saying they are still hoping the Saskatchewan government will allow the SJHL some finish to their 2020-21 hockey season.

The government is set to comment on Feb. 19 regarding the remaining SJHL season, and Blevins said if the ice was to stay until March 1, there will be user groups, including minor hockey and figure skating, that will make the two extra weeks financially feasible, and the Mustangs will have a better idea on whether they will be bringing back their 19 to 20-year-old players back to Melfort.

“We understand the financial impact of operating and Northern Lights Palace, however, we are looking willing to look at many possible solutions with the city and with other user groups to offset the taxpayer burden.”

The city has been keeping itself afloat the last 10 months and cannot afford any financial burden, said Mayor Glenn George, but the city will be taking the needs of the user groups into account.

“We'll tell them that we're prepared to do and then they can move on from there.”

Melfort city council and staff also said their farewells to city manager Ryan Danberg and approved the hiring of Adam Homes.

Danberg’s departure is bittersweet, George said, as he has done much for the City of Melfort but is moving on to his dream job as part owner of the Elk Ridge Resort.

“He took us to the next level [in his] two years as the city manager. He's incredible, he thinks outside the box, and he thinks way ahead.”

Homes is originally from Regina but comes from a municipal management position in Prince George, B.C. George said he knows the city is in good hands.

Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist