OUR VIEW: Ice rink expansion worth the expenseMayor Ken Tracy has announced his preferences for proposals in Mitchell, and a new ice rink at the Mitchell Activities Center quickly has become his pet project.
Mayor Ken Tracy has announced his preferences for proposals in Mitchell, and a new ice rink at the Mitchell Activities Center quickly has become his pet project.
Tracy, sworn in Monday, is beginning his tenure with a flurry. He comes into office with bold ideas and tells us he is going to provide the leadership to try to push these ideas through.
We say more power to him. We also commend him for a strong start out of the blocks.
And we like his plan of attack, which includes putting the city’s weight behind a new sheet of ice at the hockey arena. Local programs have outgrown the current arena, which saw approximately 17,000 people pass through its doors last season.
The project is expected to cost about $2.4 million. Although the new rink would be a bit smaller and have less seating than the original MAC, the second sheet of ice would better accommodate the growing number of hockey players in town and also would better facilitate Mitchell as a host for wintertime sporting events.
More people in town. Isn’t that what many — including us — have been clamoring for all these years?
As Corn Palace renovations and events center constructions are proposed over and over and with price tags that simply won’t do, it seems to us that this hockey expansion is a project worthy of city dollars.
After all, it can be accomplished for a fraction of the cost of some other proposed projects. And best yet, it would directly benefit Mitchell residents as well as visitors, whose presence in the winter would be a boon for the local economy.
About $500,000 of the projected $2.5 million cost would come from private fundraising. That sounds about right, and we’re pleased to hear that this project’s boosters understand their own role in the process. Good for them.
As for Tracy, he has placed the hockey project at the top of his todo list. He’ll have to convince the City Council that the city’s share of about $2 million is worth it.
We think it is.