“The figure skating club definitely appreciates the opportunity to operate the concession,” said Rob Cressman, director of community services. “They’ve been doing it for seven years, and they look forward to continuing to provide the concession at the arena if that’s agreeable to the town. They see this as an opportunity for them to help generate some additional revenue to help offset their operating costs. Without that revenue-generating opportunity, it would have impacts to their registration fees.”
The TFSC has operated the town’s large ice arena concession under lease agreements since 2006. Prior to the TFSC, the Taber Lion’s Club operated the concession for almost 60 years, until June 2006.
Although administration recommended a one year agreement for lease of the facility, town council altered this and proceeded to vote for a three-year agreement, based on the similar terms and conditions of the previous agreement.
“I think everyone would prefer a longer agreement, which provides security,” said Mayor Ray Bryant. “Obviously, we’re in a time crunch here — the season has already started. I see this as an extension with the possibility of a longer lease agreement. There’s still that scenario of are there any other groups that may wish to get involved in this. We’ve been very fortunate to have the Taber Figure Skating Club provide that service in the arena for the last seven years. Hopefully it’s been a win-win situation, because the last thing we need is not to have someone there.”
The proposed agreement had been reviewed with TFSC president Carla Gouw and the TFSC board prior to its presentation to town council.
“I don’t think we need to concern ourselves with who else might want to run this in the future. The Taber Figure Skating Club has this lease, they’ve had it for quite a while, they do a good job, and I think it’s theirs until they say they don’t want it anymore,” said Coun. Randy Sparks. “That’s just how it should be. We can’t concern ourselves with the soccer association or anyone else wanting to get in on this. I think it is in the town’s best interest, if the figure skating club is willing and wanting a three year agreement, that the town enters into that agreement. Give them a three year agreement if that’s what they’re after. I think it’s only fair for them in the future to have that.”
Under the terms of the lease agreement, the annual total fee is $1,182.09, or a total of $3,546.27 over three years, including GST.
“I recall when this originally went out to tender, we were lucky to get someone to run the place,” said Coun. Murray Rochelle. “I think if the figure skating club is doing something of value for our community, we should give them a three-year agreement.”
Coun. Rick Popadynetz applauded the efforts of the TFSC in providing services to countless patrons that visit the arena throughout a winter season.
“I’d like to thank the figure skating club for stepping forward at a time when the concession was not used for a few years. They’ve offered a great service to the youth, not only in teaching kids about retail sales in their concession, but also offering a figure skating group some funding. They work diligent hours, late through the night — a lot of the hockey practices run until 9 p.m., and there’s usually someone in the concession that late. They offer food not only to local people, but the people that are coming into our community to watch hockey games — and it’s good food.”
The vote was carried unanimously by town council.