(Photo by Bob Montgomery)

Feasibility Study Coming For Bayfield Recreational Needs

Bluewater council is now ready to move forward with the feasibility study on the recreational needs of the municipality, including the need for ice in the Bayfield Arena.

Mayor Tyler Hessel says staff will now bring back an request for proposals (RFP) for council’s approval.

The future of the ice has been the subject of hours of debate over the last year or so. The package that will be delivered to the consultant, who will conduct the study, will include a request that the ice is put in for the 2018-2019 season in the event that the report has not been completed by June.  At that time, people will be booking ice time for that year.

Council passed a motion last August to remove the ice permanently at the end of this season. However, an amendment was made by Deputy Mayor Jim Ferguson that the decision be tied to the consultant’s report.

Ferguson re-stated his belief Monday night that the ice should remain until the consultant’s report was received.

Council also passed a motion Monday night to consider rescinding that August motion so they could then proceed with a motion to put the ice in for another year. A motion from Hay West Councillor John Gillespie that the ice be put back in next year with Bayfield residents covering the $69,000 cost either through donations or taxes drew some laughter from the gallery.  However, it was defeated when Treasurer Ansberth Willert informed council they couldn’t legally do that.

The motion to rescind the earlier motion will come back to council at its next meeting.