(BlackburnNews.com photo)

Motion Approved To Remove Ice From Bayfield Arena After 2018 Season

The chair of the Bayfield Arena Community Partners Association is surprised at the lack of discussion and public consultation before Bluewater council passed a motion to pull the ice from the Bayfield Arena at the end of the 2018 season.

Ron Keys says staff presented a report on the future of the arena without any direction from council that he was aware of, with the recommendation that the ice be pulled.

All but Bayfield ward Councillor Bill Whetstone voted in favour of the motion and it passed.

Keys says the municipality has put the cart before the horse because in most cases there’s a plan for the next venture, or next build, or the next idea before you tear down the existing one, and he hasn’t heard of any plan that outlines usage or revenue that might be generated.

He also suggests the move will discourage young families from moving into a village that is very much in need of young families.

Keys points out the Bayfield Facilities Initiative Team ask council late last year if the Partners Association could get an extension on keeping the arena open until they were able to proceed with their proposal to take it over and eliminate any costs to the municipality and they’re still waiting for an answer.

“We’ve been pushing for all kinds of public meetings, public input and staff brought forward their opinion on the future of the arena without any motion from council to request that and there was no evidence that there would even be a vote suggesting such an outcome,” stated Keys. “They had asked a question of council, probably in November – maybe December of 2016, if BACPA could get an extension to keep the facility going as is until they determined what the future’s going to look like and that question has never been answered.”