City to take over, reopen ice rink |

City to take over, reopen ice rink

Sarah Gonser

Putting aside its tainted ice rink history, the South Lake Tahoe City Council decided Tuesday that the city deserves an ice rink it can call its own.

A subcommittee formed by Councilmembers Brooke Laine and Hal Cole were dispatched earlier this year to explore the situation and recommend action to the council.

After reviewing and rejecting several bids that would contract out the construction and operation of the facility, Cole recommended to the council that the city should have complete control over design, construction and operation of the facility. He found no opposition in the council.

“I think this community wants and needs an ice rink,” said Councilman Tom Davis. “I think it is appropriate – and it is high time – that we move forward to find the funding for it, and make it happen.”

The privately owned and operated rink near the Parks and Recreation Building on Rufus Allen Boulevard went out of business two years ago after funding shortages. Since then, Cole said the community has been anxiously expecting a new facility. Consequently, two bids were submitted and reviewed, both rejected.

“The operators in both situations proposed using city land as an asset,” Cole told the council. “That would have been just too much risk for the city and not in its best interest.”

Further research revealed, Cole said, that local control over a facility which could be used for both skating in the winter and other activities during the summer, would be beneficial both to the community and the tourism business.

Cole proposed that funding for the project, which could total approximately $2.2 million, be taken from the Tourism Occupancy Tax which allows for recreational facility use.

“I wholeheartedly support this. I think all our past experiences have led to this one point,” Laine said. “We tried so hard to make this work in the past and ran into walls. This feels right, this land is our asset and we should use it to our benefit.”

The council decided the first step would be to request architectural bids for review. Construction, assuming everything runs smoothly, would begin next summer and the rink would open during the 2000/2001 winter season.

In further business:

n The council ordered immediate compliance on subcommittee parking proposals for Ski Run Marina businesses, with a Memorandum of Understanding between the Marina owner and the city to be signed July 6.

n The council authorized replacement of the South Lake Tahoe Police Department’s computer system.

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