Back to the drawing board for council on arena chiller

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MINDEMOYA – As reported earlier, Central Manitoulin council had decided, during its August 22 meeting, that the chiller to be purchased for the Mindemoya arena would, in fact, go to the Providence Bay arena by default. All the councillors supported this motion, except for Councillor Linda Farquhar.

Councillors Dale Scott and Steve Shaffer were not present for the August 22 meeting.

Councillor Angela Johnston stated that the Providence Bay arena was in good shape, but that it has a smaller ice surface than the Mindemoya rink and that the location would not be feasible. “Mindemoya should be the main arena,” she said, but then told council that it would cost $1.2 million to bring the building up to code.

Councillor Derek Stephens expressed concern that the west wall of the Mindemoya arena could move further by a bad frost or snow and suggested that one arena, that is the one in Providence Bay, be used in the interim until “we decide where we are going.”

The Finance and Economic Development (FED) committee meeting was held August 20 and the issue of the municipalities’ aging arenas was on the agenda once again. Councillor Steve Shaffer informed council that there was a procedural error in regards to the chiller and said that the motion to have this piece of equipment put in the Providence Bay arena was made improperly; that the notification was that the chiller went to Providence Bay when the original motion said the chiller was for the Mindemoya arena.

Councillor Stephens rebutted this by saying, “I am sort of the procedural motion king. Other motions were defeated. This left the motion open for the Providence Bay installation of the chiller.”

Mayor Richard Stephens disagreed, saying, “It was a new resolution, not an amended resolution. It has to be on the agenda.” 

Councillor Stephens refuted this saying, “we have made lots of new motions in council.”

Councillor Dale Scott also spoke on this procedural error discussion saying, “It did not come from committee, it was not on the agenda, and should go back to committee.”

CAO/Clerk Ruth Frawley expressed concern about getting the chiller in soon or “you won’t have ice,” but Councillor Scott reminded the committee that the arena in Mindemoya is still operable, and Councillor Johnston added that things are “still operable in both arenas.”

As things stand, however, the two motions for the Mindemoya arena failed, and it is back to the drawing board for council.