Iced: arenas in Petrolia and Alvinston taking out the ice

File Photo The Timbit's hockey league plays at the Greenwood Recreation Centre.

Petrolia says it may put it back in after lockdown

At least two Central Lambton municipalities are taking the ice out of their arenas saying they’re losing money they won’t be able to recover after the provincial shutdown.

Thursday afternoon, Brooke-Alvinston Council heard the municipality would save up to $2,400 a month by taking the ice out now.

Public Works Manager Randy Hills says while the current provincial State of Emergency is slated to be lifted Feb. 11, but if history repeats itself, there is a good possibility it will be extended.

The first lockdown started in March with 28 days and continued until June.

And even after some of the restrictions are lifted, it’s likely the provincial rules will limit the number of people on the ice.

“It’s hard to justify (the money) when there is just 10 kids on the ice,” says Hills.

Councillor Jamie Armstrong agreed. “Take the ice out; if this is like last year, it will take forever.”

It is unlikely the ice will be reinstalled this year. Hills estimates that would cost about $3,000 just to lay the ice down without the lines necessary for hockey games.

In Petrolia, administrators say they’re taking the ice out for 28 days and reevaluating the situation then. The town says it consulted with the users of the arena before making the decision.

It is the safest option for users and staff officials say, but it is also fiscally responsible since the generators won’t have to run for the next 28 days.

In a news release, Dave Menzies, director of facilities and community services, says there may be a chance to install ice after the shutdown. If that decision was made, it would take just four days to install the ice again.

Warwick Township still has ice in the rink. Mayor Jackie Rombouts says council has discussed what should be done at the Watford arena but most want to find a way to get kids back on the ice.

Rombouts says they would like to be able to offer the ice for a single family to use and she’s floated the idea with Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey. The township would need specific approval from the province.

For now the ice in Watford remains in place.

St. Clair Township Mayor Steve Arnold says one of the two ice pads at the Mooretown Sports Complex is without ice but it was removed for maintenance before the lockdown.