HIGHGATE, Vt.  — The town of Highgate, Vt., sees a solution to replacing its 40-year-old cooling system at the local ice arena coming from Auburn’s Ingersoll Arena.

But Auburn, which recently opened a larger dual surface ice rink, said the old equipment is not for sale quite yet.

“So we are very glad that community is excited about having this equipment, but first we have to decide what we are going to do with it,” City Manager Clinton Deschene said.

The St. Albans Messenger reports the Highgate Selectboard plans to use a Housing and Urban Development grant it received several years ago to bid on the cooling system. The grant is for $196,000 and must be used by 2015.

Kim Gates, chair of the Highgate Arena Renovation Team, said Tuesday that the equipment was coming from Auburn’s Ingersoll Arena.

Auburn began operating its new dual surface facility, the Norway Savings Bank Ice Arena, last fall. A grand opening is scheduled for later this month. The new arena is meant to replace the Ingersoll Arena.

Auburn’s Deschene said he’s pleased that the Vermont town is interested in the machinery, but said it’s not quite for sale yet. The city has been working with a consultant to get the new arena opened. The consultant has asked if city would sell Ingersoll’s old equipment if a buyer stepped forward.

“If a sale does go through, there would have to be a bid process, but we are not at that point yet,” Deschene said. “Before we can consider selling any of that old equipment, we’d need to have a public process to determine how we are going to use Ingersoll.”

Auburn City Councilors have talked about using the facility as an indoor athletic fieldhouse but Deschene said some residents in the community have talked about keeping it as a third ice surface.

Highgate has worked on renovatiing its arena for several years. The Vermont town sought help from neighboring communities Franklin and Swanton, crafting a plan that would have made the arena a jointly owned and managed endeavor following a $4.3 million renovation. However, Swanton voters rejected the proposal.

Staff Writer Scott Taylor contributed to this report.


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