AUBURN — The latest designs for a planned two-rink ice arena along Turner Street suit city councilors well enough, they said Monday.
Councilors voted 6-1 to accept the latest designs of the facility. City Councilor Belinda Gerry, who said she has consistently been against the idea, voted against it again Monday.
"Our lease is signed and done — we did that back in October," said City Councilor Tizz Crowley. "This is not remaking that decision. The question before us tonight is not whether we should or should not build. Tonight, we are being asked to accept the design."
Councilors met last week to deal exclusively with the latest designs and budget forecasts for the ice rink, but tabled the matter until their regular meeting Monday.
Mayor Jonathan LaBonte said questions councilors had about whether the floor in both rinks would be concrete or if one floor could be made of sand were answered in an executive session just before the vote.
LaBonte said both rinks will have concrete floors, according to the latest design plans.
Councilors approved the lease agreement on the ice rink in October, agreeing to let developer George Schott build the ice arena on land he owns behind Shaw's on Turner Street.
The entrance would face Center Street, according to the latest design plans. The proposed arena will have seats for 811 spectators in one rink, 200 in a second rink with 80 to 100 seats in a shared mezzanine.
The new arena should also feature eight locker rooms, two lockers for referees, a pro shop and a second-floor warm spectator area with a concessions stand. Four coaches will also be available.
Schott also agreed to add 200 mobile seats that can be moved between the rinks to bolster seating, LaBonte said Monday.
Councilors did not address the differing budgets presented last week. One was prepared by City Manager Clinton Deschene and the other was prepared by staff and city consultants. Deschene's budget shows a $308,317 loss at the facility for the first year, whereas the staff model shows a loss of only $57,495.
Deschene's model rents ice time for $225 per hour to youth and adult hockey leagues, while in the staff model, ice time would rent for $235 per hour.
Deschene also budgeted smaller concession stand revenues, less sign advertising revenue and fewer skate rentals. The consultants' budget called for almost $250,000 more in revenue than Deschene's did.
LaBonte said councilors did discuss that budget and their options in executive session. Councilor Robert Hayes said the financial plan going forward will remain under discussion.
"I'll be in the affirmative as long as we recognize we are going to look at the management finance structure that will carry this arena forward," Hayes said.