No money for promised rink in Surrey budget leaves hockey families disappointed

Hockey families in Surrey say they're crestfallen that there is no money in Surrey's proposed five-year capital budget for a new rink in Cloverdale.

In 2017, the city approved plans for a new $44-million ice complex to replace the rink in Cloverdale, which is a single sheet of ice in an aging building.

But consecutive budgets have shelved the project, as Mayor Doug McCallum and councillors look to cut municipal debt and pay for Surrey's own police force.

Across the growing municipality, hockey families have complained of a shortage of ice time, leading to early mornings and late nights for kids in the popular sport.

James Kim has a son and a daughter enrolled in minor hockey who often play at the Cloverdale rink. He said the rink is small, dark and in need of replacement.

"It's a disappointment," he said about the omission of funds for a new ice complex in the latest capital budget.

Jon Hernandez/CBC

Community members have been pushing for a new rink for more than five years saying that the nine sheets of ice the municipality operates at its five arenas are inadequate for a city with more than 500,000 people.

"We're finding there's still not a lot of ice available, and Surrey being such a big municipality, there are a lot of teams," said Kim.

The new budget document has ear-marked $10 million for upgrades to the Cloverdale rink, but not until 2024.

City of Surrey

But the president of the Cloverdale Community Association says that money won't go far in renewing or expanding the rink.

"A sheet of ice is actually $15 million,"  said Mike Bola. "And there's the cost of renovations, tearing down walls."

The City is holding a feedback session on its latest five-year financial plan on Dec. 2. Written comments can be submitted until Nov. 28.