There’s a buzz of excitement in the Township of Lake of Bays.
Leanne Fetterley, Township interim economic development coordinator, and superintendent of parks and facilities Scott MacKinnon told Lake of Bays council at its September 14 meeting that there’s an Ontario Trillium Foundation Community Building Fund they can access to replace the ice surface at the Baysville arena.
Fetterley said the fund supports capital improvements specifically for sport and recreation facilities. “Staff have reviewed the program requirements and the Township’s strategic planning documents and we found that replacing the ice plant to the arena would be a really good fit for this program,” Fetterley told council.
The replacement of the ice at the arena is identified in the municipality’s capital budget to be completed in 2024. “However if we were successful in seeking funds from this program it could provide up to $500,000 towards this renovation. So this could allow us to complete that item sooner than is identified in our capital plan,” said Fetterley, adding that it could also potentially fund the majority of the project.
Staff are in the process of seeking detailed quotes as part of the application process and, if successful, would return to council with a budget plan for approval and at that point would issue a Request for Proposals (RFP), Fetterley explained.
“That sounds like fantastic news,” said Lake of Bays Mayor Terry Glover. Councillor Bob Lacroix said with freon becoming obsolete, “if we don’t replace it soon we’ll lose our arena so if we can get the government to pay for all of it or most of it that sounds [like]terrific news to me.”
MacKinnon said he hopes the Township is successful in getting the funding. “Freon is now off the market. You can continue to use it if you have it but it has been phased out by the government of Canada because of all the environmental effects it has on the ozone, and greenhouse gases,” he said adding, “I’m super excited Leanne found this grant and I’m really hoping that our estimates come in pretty close to that number so we can wrap this up and go forward.”
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