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Field's rink upgrades are coming at an upgraded cost

The construction bid has been granted to add a roof to the rink in Field
The rink in Field is getting a long-awaited upgrade, but the price has upgraded as well

West Nipissing’s municipal council has agreed to go ahead with upgrades to the Field outdoor rink at a cost of $1,138,459 plus HST. This number surpassed council’s budget for the upgrades by almost $450,000. The money will come from the municipality’s community services reserve fund.

“Budgets are tight, and everything is going up,” said councillor Daniel Gagné, “and I know we’re going to get that covered rink eventually, but I just want to make sure with staff that this is the right recommendation.”

Gagne wasn’t the only one concerned with the rising cost, and staff noted that taking money from the reserve fund won’t affect any other projects. Fundraising efforts will continue as well, and municipal staff are keeping eyes open for any grants that might help to close the financial gap between what was expected and what was presented.

The money will go toward adding a roof over the rink, installing a new ice surface, new lights and boards as well. Essentially, it’s a complete overhaul. The project has been on the books for almost 20 years, and this past March the Province gave the project $500,000 for the upgrades through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

See: Field skating rink getting upgraded

If the municipality chose not to build, those provincial funds would be lost. Council agreed that delaying the project further would only cost money and accepting the bid was the prudent way to proceed.

Capitol Construction was awarded the job, one of four companies that submitted a tender for the work contract.

Councillor Kaitlynn Nicol represents Field on council, and she said that “it’s exciting to see we’re at this point after the many years of dedicated volunteers who fundraised and advocated for this.”

She acknowledged the cost is a lot, but “the upgrades will extend the life of the rink and allow the people to use the facility year-round” with other activities. “So, I do see a lot of positives out of this project.”

Council agreed, and plans are underway to have the rink upgraded well before the snow flies.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering civic and diversity issues for BayToday. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
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