AUBURN — The city needs time to figure out how Ingersoll Arena will be used once it’s no longer the city’s ice rink, City Manager Clinton Deschene said.

“We have a lot of questions we need to look at before we can say how we are going reuse it,” he said. “Right now, staff is going to continue looking at the city’s overall recreational services needs, what we are doing and what we need to keep doing. And we can look at Ingersoll as a part of that discussion.”

Deschene said the city has to review the building with an eye toward repairs and maintenance and the surrounding area for parking needs.

“What is it going to take to accommodate this building and its uses?” Deschene said. “Do we have to add more parking lots, and where do we need to do that? These are some of the questions we need settled.”

Crews are scheduled to begin shutting down Ingersoll on Nov. 18, moving the arena’s boards and other hockey equipment to the second ice surface in the new Norway Savings Bank Arena in time for a Dec. 6 opening.

Potential uses discussed for the old ice rink include an indoor turf facility for soccer, lacrosse or other athletics.

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Deschene and city councilors discussed Ingersoll briefly at Monday’s workshop meeting, but a more complete discussion is slated for the Nov. 18 meeting.

Councilors are scheduled to review recreation at that meeting, and they’ll include Ingersoll’s fate at that meeting.

That discussion is too late for at least one city councilor.

Ward 5 Councilor Leroy Walker said the city should have a plan in place for the reuse of the facility, and he’s frustrated that nothing has been done.

“All we’ve asked him to do is produce a plan for us for the future of Ingersoll Arena,” Walker said. “We just wanted something we can use to look forward to in the next budget. Are we going to reuse it? Are we going to lease it to somebody? How are we going to maintain it this winter?”

Walker and City Council colleague Tizz Crowley said Monday they were frustrated by the delay. Walker insists staff needs just a few hours to come up with a list of possible costs and revenues for councilors to discuss.

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“Whether four councilors ask for it or only two ask for it, he needs to produce something,” Walker said. “It’s simple to produce a plan. It’s not the hardest thing in the world.”

Deschene said it is a staff-intensive project.

“The staff I need have been involved in other projects,” Deschene said. City engineers have been working on summer road projects, facilities staff have been working on a building efficiency program and public works and recreation staff have been working on a new operations plan.

“And right now, staff have been concentrating on getting that new arena open,” Deschene said. “I have really needed my staff to make sure that goes off without a hitch.”

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