Municipality of Wawa Publishes Draft Revised Policy on Arena Ice Rentals

The Municipality of Wawa's looking at updating its policy on arena ice rentals.

Wawa Municipal Council was presented with a draft revised policy during last night's Corporate Planning/Policy Manual Committee meeting, and CAO/Treasurer Maury O'Neill explains it features multiple changes.

Acting Community Services and Tourism Director Brian Lachine emphasizes this is still a draft for public input, but underscores difficulties associated with early ice.

Lachine adds the end of the season has another problem.

While discussing the policy during last night's meeting, Council was told about various issues with early ice - particularly with warmer September weather in recent years, which strains current equipment, makes it more difficult to make ice, and causes condensation issues - while numerous cancellations have been seen after March Break - a problem the policy seeks to address, by refusing refunds for cancellations during the "Spring of Fall Shoulder Season", while requiring at least 24 hours notice of a cancellation for an event taking no more than 6 hours, or 3 days notice for events requiring more than 6 hours of ice time over a span of one or more days.

The policy also warns "no organization, group, or user will have ice times automatically reserved from one year to the next", though the Municipality will attempt to maintain consistency when possible, with ice time to be prioritized in the following order: municipal programming; regionally significant events; tournaments; youth recreational programming; senior recreational programming; adult recreational programming; and finally, private and commercial rentals.

It also mandates the Municipality to inform users groups of annual ice rental rates and charges once the Municipal Fees and Charges By-Law is approved by Council - who will make an effort to do so by May 1st - with user groups to be informed of ice rental rates no later than July 1st, though it further emphasizes all users will be charged per the schedule of fees unless Council authorizes an exception.

Emphasizing this is a draft, O'Neill says the Municipality is talking with ice user groups and has posted the proposed revised policy on the municipal website for the public to review and provide comments by August 28th.

Plans are for the revised policy to come to Council for a vote September 3rd.