The issue of Carleton Place arena renovations came back for discussion at the town’s corporate services committee June 20, as councillors heard more details on a proposal that had ballooned to almost $1.7 million from its original budgeted cost.
Carleton Place Treasurer Phil Hogan discussed the renovation – a 5,000 square-foot addition for dressing rooms and an office – in terms of current revenue streams that support the arena’s ongoing operations, noting $200,000 in reserve funds are ready to be invested, with an additional $60,000 available to fund an $800,000 debt.
Council puts the breaks on arena upgrades
Significantly, Hogan said arena revenues have been declining, with canteen sales down as visitors bring their own food and coffee to hockey games and other events. In addition, figures for the April to August time slot for the arena show it is used only 50 per cent of the time, but it is twice as expensive to keep cool as during the winter months.
While the issue will be discussed at the final June council meeting next week, Mayor Louis Antonakos stressed the importance of the arena as the town’s population continues to grow.
Antonakos noted the Carleton Place arena is funded far more by users than most other municipalities, and urged not only that renovation proceed quickly, but that further investments be made in the facility, constructed in 1969.