Mendon council debates cost and return of Bridgerland Ice Arena
By Kendal Bates
MENDON -- If an ice arena came to Cache Valley, how much could it cost Mendon each year, and what benefit for Mendon could it provide?
Representatives from Bridgerland Ice Arena visited Mendon's City Council on Nov. 11 to make a sales pitch for the project.
If Mendon decided to join Providence, River Heights, Logan and Hyrum in the ice rink project, it could cost the city $873 a year for 10 years, said ice arena representative Janet Borg.
Although that may not seem like much, Mayor Sid Larsen was cautious about jumping on the ice arena band wagon.
In addition to the $873, Larsen said, Mendon could also lose money when restaurant taxes were figured in.
Borg responded that the ice arena would have many benefits for Cache Valley that would outweigh any fee or tax. She said that if the arena were built, French Olympic skaters have expressed interest in practicing there. Also, the Utah State University hockey team, which now travels to Ogden for its matches, would have a place to play home games. She also said the presence of the arena could promote ice sports for children in Cache Valley that are otherwise out of reach.
Specifically for Mendon, Borg said participation on the project could mean elementary students from kindergarten to fifth grade would receive one free pass per year to skate at the arena. She said a tentative price of admission for everyone would be $3.
Some council members expressed a concern that special interest groups such as the USU hocket team might monopolize most of the ice time. Borg said that time would be set up for the community from noon until 2 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. every day, and that these times would not go up for "sale" to special interests. She also said that the building plans include extra refrigeration outlets so that the arena could expand, if necessary, to accommodate more demand.
She said that groups could also purchase time for $110 an hour, skates included.
Borg said the entire project would cost about $5.7 million and that
the non-profit organization in charge, had already raised $2.7 million.
No pledge was made by the council, who decided to study the issue further.