On September 20th, the Morrisburg Business Improvement Association (BIA) requested permission to put a skating rink in the Morrisburg Plaza for the Christmas season.
According to BIA member Bill Ewing, the requested location would be just south of the clock tower starting “at the first tree and going down to the last tree.”
The plan is to “stay in the center of it” approximately four feet from the canopy. Ewing explained that the BIA would put “plastic down first so (the ice) doesn’t get into the interlock.” He also said that the boards used to frame the rink would be about six inches high.
Ewing pledged: “If approved, (the BIA) will be looking after everything including liability insurance.”
The proposed time line for the rink would include a starting date of the first Saturday in December and lasting until students go back to school in January.
The plan is “designed more for kids than adults,” said Ewing.
During later discussion, council members voiced their concerns on the proposal.
Hugh Garlough, Manager of Public Works, was worried about liability. He indicated the ice and the boards surrounding it as possible hazards. He summed up his feelings saying, that there are “just too many variables here.”
Councillor Jim Graham agreed, saying that “we have to have something back from staff on the ramifications of doing this.”
Councillor Evonne Delegarde voiced concern “about it turning into a hockey rink.”
She also pointed out a security issue: “Somebody’s not going to be there 24 hours to watch this.”
Council members were also concerned about damage to the interlocking brick as well as with the details of how the rink would ultimately be dismantled.
In addition, Councillor Archie Mellan was concerned as to whether all shop owners, especially those directly surrounding the proposed rink, had been contacted about the idea.
While each of the council members seemed to have some concerns, the one thing they all agreed on was the novelty of the idea.
As Mayor Steven Byvelds stated: “Council is in favour of the concept, but just has (a lot) of questions.”
Byvelds proposed that staff come up with a list of questions and concerns about the project. The list will then be presented to the BIA. Once council has answers and feedback to their concerns they will move forward with a decision.