It will cost winter-sport enthusiasts a few more dollars to rent ice time at Tundra Oil and Gas Place this summer.
At their Regular Meeting on Tuesday, Virden councillors approved a four per cent increase in summer ice rental fees from $158 per hour to $164 per hour. The increase follows a two per cent bump in 2019.
The motion to increase the fees was presented by Councillor Whitney Wright, who sits on the town’s Community Services Committee. She said the fee change still leaves a rate that is competitive with facilities in other communities in the area. Brandon’s Sportsplex, for example, rents for $238.50 per hour for adult usage and $191.50 per hour for youth.
Mayor Murray Wright noted that fees like those found in Brandon are not sustainable in a smaller community like Virden.
Councillor Wright said further effort will be made to advertise Tundra Place’s availability.
“There’s an opportunity to get people using our facility,” she said. “We’ve got the ice in, so let’s try to utilize it as much as possible.”
Councillor Tara Cowan suggested the facility be open for free or low-cost community activities if the ice is free for use at times. She noted that Sport Manitoba had recently begun a campaign to get youth involved in multiple sports instead of one for the entire year. The ice at Tundra Place may provide a chance for youth to try something new, like ringette or broom ball.
Councillor Wright said several different ideas were discussed among members of the committee.
The Town of Virden also pledged their support for a new amenity proposed for Tundra Place.
Virden Minor Hockey is seeking a grant from the Virden and Area Foundation for the construction of a water bottle filling station at the arena. The project is estimated to cost about $3460.
Councillors voted unanimously to submit a letter of support for the project to Virden Minor Hockey.
Finally, organizers of the 2020 Western Regional TELUS Cup Championships have their facility booked after councillors agreed on a final rental charge.
Hosted by the Southwest Cougars Midget ‘AAA’ Hockey Club, the 2020 Western Regional play downs will take place at Tundra Oil and Gas Place April 2 to 5. Virden last hosted the tournament in 2012.
The Southwest Cougars will face Midget ‘AAA’ hockey league champions from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northern Ontario in a seven-game meet that will determine who will represent the region at the 2020 TELUS Cup National Championships in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.
Council has mandated Tundra Place management to charge $6400 for exclusive use of the arena.