Ice rink may come out of deep freeze next year |

Ice rink may come out of deep freeze next year

Michael Schneider

Ice skaters could be using the rink on Rufus Allen Boulevard by Oct. 1, 1999.

A city subcommittee met with two firms who wish to combine forces to construct and operate an indoor rink.

Under the proposal, Prosites, of Sparks, Nev., would operate the rink and Co-Energy, of Sacramento, would build it.

Representatives of the companies appeared before the council about a month ago to unveil their plan for the rink.

The proposed rink would be enclosed and include a pro shop. It would be open to the public as well as used for adult hockey leagues, said Mike Hackett, director of operations for Prosites.

When the proposition was brought before the council Sept. 1, council members were skeptical of the proponents’ revenue projections.

“The biggest hole is who will pay the debt service if the project falls short,” Mayor Hal Cole said at that meeting.

City Attorney Catherine DiCamillo, who serves on the subcommittee, said Tuesday the proponents were willing to discuss firm debt service guarantees.

The proposal calls for the city to sell municipal bonds to pay for the construction. The revenues generated by the rink would pay the bonds.

Cole said the city hopes to receive a package from the developers in which they would guarantee payments for the first few years with cash in a bank account or a letter of credit.

As it stands now, DiCamillo said the proponents will come back to the subcommittee in a couple weeks with a solid proposal. Then there will be an item on the council’s Nov. 3 agenda requesting the city enter into a memorandum of understanding with the developers for 30, 60 or 90 days. During that time the city will only be able to negotiate with Prosites and Co-Energy, the only respondents to the city’s request for bids last spring.

DiCamillo said the subcommittee would hope to have the final proposal before the council by January 1999.

A group of community residents tried to open the South Tahoe Ice Center at the same site. Plagued by funding problems, the ice center never came to fruition and the city is now facing potential legal action from unpaid creditors.

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