Vernon council to consider options for outdoor skating rink; Polson Park preferred location

Skating rink for Polson?

Vernon city council is considering addition of an outdoor skating rink at Polson Park.

Council will review a report at its meeting on Monday which outlines possible locations for a seasonal rink at Polson Park and elsewhere in the city.

The city's centrepiece park is the preferred location, however.

The idea was first floated at council in January.

Since then, administration has been exploring options that include a permanent skating rink, temporary removable rink, or a synthetic ice surface. Consideration of natural ice was not included in the report due to the unreliability of continuous cold weather.

The report notes a standalone, refrigerated, recreation-sized rink would cost $1.2 million to $1.5 million.

A refrigerated rink at Kin Race Track would cost $790,000 to $990,000.

A full-size temporary refrigerated rink is estimated to cost $470,000 to $490,000, while a tennis-court-sized rink would be $105,000.

The synthetic option would cost $250,000 to $300,000 (all estimates plus site prep and boards/edging, lighting as required).

"The option of placing a permanent refrigerated ice sheet (or trail) at either Polson or Kin is viable, but the costliest and would take the longest to come to fruition," the report notes.

"Temporary skating rinks offer flexibility and are easier to locate, but would require as much maintenance and staffing as the permanent ones and require set up, take down and summer storage," while the synthetic ice surface "would allow year-round skating and requires limited maintenance and equipment."

Council is expected to provide direction on which option staff should explore further, so more detailed costing, location recommendations, and funding sources can be presented.

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