Future of Bayfield ice still uncertain

Inside the Bayfield Arena.. (Photo by Bob Montgomery)

The future of the Bayfield arena ice is still up in the air.

A spokesperson for BFIT, the group proposing to take over the operation of the Bayfield Arena, said she wasn’t surprised that a recently-completed feasibility study didn’t include a recommendation.

Sandy Scotchmer also concedes that while an arena with ice may not be a need for the village of Bayfield, it is a very strong want. She believes that point was recognized and made in the report.

“Rather than looking at the needs, we’re looking at the wants also and the want is very large in Bayfield,” said Scotchmer.

Scotchmer says the report presented to council originally included five recommendations. It’s now been reduced to three.

The options are to take the ice out and refurbish that area; take the ice out and use the space for other activities; or move forward with a public-private partnership.

Taking the ice out and refurbishing it would include installing heating so that it could be used for other activities.  Permanently removing the ice would allow the space to be used for things like trade shows in the warmer weather. Proceeding with the private – public partnership being proposed by BFIT leaves the future unclear.

“It’s going to sit there if they don’t do anything to it, which is one of the options,” said Scotchmer.

Scotchmer doesn’t know when the final report from the consultant will be presented to council but the BFIT groups wants to be on the agenda that night as well to outline their business plan to council.