Council to Consider Twining the Ice Pad at the NDCC, News (Ayr Flames)

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Council to Consider Twining the Ice Pad at the NDCC
Submitted By Andrea Sayles on Monday, November 30, 2020
AMHA has recently received the following letter from the Centre for the Community Group (CCG). Please take the time to read through the letter and its’ attachments. It is crucial that members of our community that are interested in supporting this initiative act now.

To the Members of the Ayr Minor Hockey Association:

The decision for a twin pad at the NDCC is near, and we need your help to make it happen. 

As you may be aware, the Township has retained the services of a consultant to conduct an assessment on current and projected ice needs in the Township (Phase 1 study).  The Phase 1 study demonstrated a current need of 1.5 ice pads with growing need for 2.3 ice pads by 2031.  Incidentally, the population growth forecast by the Region of Waterloo for Ayr and surrounding area is to reach 16,000 by 2031.  The Township has in place approved development for about half of that now.

Despite some communities that have seen a drop in ice need over time, the Phase 1 study clearly showed that we have a strong and growing need for ice. The next step was a Phase 2 study to assess whether to repair the ACC or twin the NDCC.  After the assessment, the strong recommendation of the consultant was to twin the NDCC.  There is a link attached to the October 26, 2020 North Dumfries Township meeting.  By following the link, you can see the consultant’s presentation in the Agenda package.  It is also recommended that you view the video.  You will see the presentation at the 2:45 mark.  You will also be able to listen to the comments from councillors and the answers to their questions provided by the consultant after the presentation. Comments are also provided by a delegation in support of the twin pad. At the end of the presentations and comments, council received the consultant’s report and asked for a staff report to come back to council.

https://calendar.northdumfries.ca/council/Index?__RequestVerificationToken=AR0Hhwfl8xpn2foiH3TSJ6DPBP9AxFuRXH9pExYrp4hq0WM4k_bc2cDL5ZqwyJFZkGvusTH0b3bdlUSVm7A25gDkd8cXigeFEhXrdM2Dt5loREXqetk-_iaLejzcMh2h2bjBHXEwgW_iiQZ4h1x8AStL98mTVaZBtVipAWcS-fI1&SearchType=Meetings&StartDate=10/26/2020&EndDate=10/26/2020

Russ Hutchings and Rob Deutschmann attended a meeting at the Township with the CAO, Andrew McNeely, in order to affirm the CCG’s support for the twin pad and their commitment to fundraising towards the cost of the twin pad.

They were informed that the staff report will come back to council on December 14, 2020.  At the meeting council will be presented with options for the purpose of determining the next steps forward.

This will be the key meeting to determine whether the Township will move ahead with the twin pad.

The staff report has not been completed.  The report will be a public document, part of the agenda package for the December 14 meeting.

CCG representatives had a general discussion with Mr. McNeely at their meeting.  While no specific conclusions were provided, it is believed that the decision-making process will proceed as follows:

The First Question will be whether to commit to a second ice pad.  If they vote to continue with two ice pads then there will be further discussions.  If they do not support a second ice pad, then there will be no twinning of the NDCC and we will see a gradual decommissioning of the ACC as an arena.

However, if council commits to a second pad, the next decision will be whether to renovate the ACC or twin the NDCC.  As noted above, for several good reasons outlined in the presentation, the consultant supported the twinning of the NDCC.  There is a greater cost to twin the NDCC.  However, it was well laid out in the consultant’s report that the long-term savings in operational costs (twin pad versus two separate pads) were significant.

Despite the benefits, it was clear at the October 26 council meeting that there may not be strong support amongst all councilors.  The CCG appreciates the financial commitment to twinning the NDCC.  However, it is an investment that the Township can afford and still commit to other needed infrastructure projects around the Township.

The other significant opportunity is the repurposing of the ACC for other services to be provided to our community like pickleball courts and volleyball courts, for example. The CCG would strongly support a community fundraising effort that not only support the twinning of the NDCC, but also assist with renovations at the ACC to provide for non-ice services.

The twinning of the NDCC opens a transformational opportunity to significantly introduce and upgrade amenities that our community is lacking.

If you are in support of twinning the NDCC, then the CCG could use your help.

The CCG is hoping to build support in the community.  They would like members of the community to reach out to council to express their support for the twinning of the NDCC.  I have included the link to the email addresses for council.  We would ask that you send a short note of support for the twinning of the NDCC. 

https://www.northdumfries.ca/Modules/contact/search.aspx?s=blOnc3OR75lA5HdxJsXCUa8suQeQuAleQuAl#

Another thing you could do, and this harkens back to the CCG’s original twin pad campaign back in 2007, is to tie a ribbon on your front porch, tree, fence as a symbol of your support for the twin pad at the NDCC.  And when your neighbours ask what that is about, let them know that it is a sign of your support for the twinning of the NDCC.

We have less than a month before council will make this very important decision.  We need all hands-on deck to make this happen.  You all are an important part of getting this message out to the rest of the community and to council to build the momentum of support to help propel our Township and community in the right direction.

This is a transformational opportunity in our community and with your help we can make this happen

Our friend, Scott Martin, recently provided me with some interesting statistics.  The charts in the attached document compare the Township of North Dumfries with similarly sized municipalities.  You will see that the charts show that NDT has one of the lowest tax rates, little debt and is an affluent community.  It also shows that we have not kept up with spending on assets. These charts are very positive in supporting the proposition that NDT does have the ability to proceed with the twinning of the NDCC. ND_Statistics.pdf


As previously stated, this is an important opportunity for our Township to make an investment in facilities that will help our Township keep pace with the rapid residential growth that we are experiencing and will continue to experience over the next decade.  We have the ability to twin the NDCC and also add another recreation facility in a repurposed ACC.

 

Thank you for your consideration and help.

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