Two Outdoor Rinks Earn Reprieve - Ten Now Open

City of Moose Jaw photo

City of Moose Jaw photo

The lack of community consultation and some juggling of resources has given a couple of outdoor neighbourhood rinks at least another Winter of life.

At Monday night’s Budget Committee meeting City Manager Jim Puffalt said Wood Lily and Westheath outdoor rinks were in the process of being flooded because of resident concerns and a lack of dialogue with residents before making the decision.

‘It was a compelling issue before Christmas and a couple of neighbourhoods were somewhat upset with that,” Puffalt said, adding “we found we hadn’t consulted enough with the community and Council.”

As a result the decision was made to flood the two rinks, Wood Lily and Westheath, which previously were dropped from flooding. The rinks were dropped after an assessment based upon the amenities there such as a heated shack, lighting, sheltered and location to nearby rinks with amenities.

Puffalt said the two rinks were being flooded using existing resources and should be open “so long as it does not snow.”

Parks and Recreation will be monitoring the rinks for use and in there could be some level of service in 2019, he said.

During 2017 there was a review of all outdoor rinks which led to the decision to not flood five outdoor rinks this year. Along with Wood Lily and Westheath the decision was made not to flood Oxford and 4th NW, Hillcrest and Veterans Peace Park, a report to Budget Committee stated.

The review was done as a cost savings measure as well as a means to reassign limited Winter staff more efficiently on other duties such as tree trimming , pathway clearing and maintenance as well as cross country ski trail maintenance.

“For example, the rink at Westheath is not sheltered, has no amenities {which doesn’t allow programs}, is a future development location and has a rink 3.5 blocks away that was better accessible and met all criteria,” the report stated.

The report spoke about the Wood Lily rink not being a park, it was difficult to flood and there was a rink three blocks away which met all criteria.

Councilor Brian Swanson said the issue should have gone through the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board as they are the group who are suppose to provide resident feedback to Council and Administration.

“I’m thinking we didn’t have any consultation,” Councilor Swanson stated.

At the present time the two rinks are being flooded with the cold weather assisting in flooding all outdoor rinks. There are 10 outdoor skating rinks presently open are:

open rinks.jpg

Additionally the Crokicurl pad is open at Elgin Park, Equipment is available from the Parks and Recreation Department at 306-694-4447 from Monday to Friday 8:15 am to 5 pm.. A damage deposit is required.

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