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User rental surcharge proposed to help fund AMA upgrades

Posted May 5, 2014

The Alliston Memorial Arena (AMA) Upgrades Task Force fulfilled its mandate and has presented New Tecumseth council with 10 recommendations to be tabled tonight, including repairing the roof of leaks as the top priority before any further upgrades are approved.

Additionally, a $10 per hour surcharge on rentals is recommended over a period of 10 years, whose proceeds would be transferred to a reserve account specifically set-up to help fund future upgrades.

The task force's report to council, faciliated by MHPM Project Managers, and chaired by Ward 2 councillor Jamie Smith, noted the AMA was rented for approximately 2,420 hours in 2013 (Community room, 991 hrs and Arena pad, 1,429 hrs). It's estimated over 10 years (25,000 hrs combined) the $10 p/h surcharge would generate $250,000.

The "Report of the Chair" offers the following five conclusions:
  • 1. The community wants to keep the building. Support for the AMA is widespread and strong. The Town should keep the building operating.
  • 2. Although it was the intention of the Town to decommission the building, the community has found other uses for it. Many of these uses are not offered elsewhere in the Town. The building is busier than ever.
  • 3. The roof leaks, making the former ice surface unusable at times. If the leaks are permitted to continue the building will deteriorate to the point it has to be abandoned. The roof must be repaired immediately (estimated cost, $100,000). If it is not, there is no point in making any other repairs. Fixing the roof is a major repair and should be paid for by the Town. Money to do this, this year, should be found this year. If it cannot be done this year, it must be budgeted for and completed as early as possible in 2015.
  • 4. There are a number of other projects set out in the report which should be done once the roof is fixed. Some of these may be paid for by community groups and individual donors. The rest should be paid for by those using the building by building a surcharge dedicated to upgrades into the fees charged by the Town.
  • 5. This site is thriving because the community is finding uses for it. This should be encouraged.
The AMA is currently nearing completion on the two-phased, $250,000 worth (50/50 funding with the federal government) of renovations that includes electrical, sprinkler, and accessibility improvements.

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