Partners to discuss future of Honeywood arena
With two reports before them Mulmur council is planning for the recreation needs of the community and considering the future of the arena.
Sierra Planning and Management has recently completed a Recreation Master Plan for Mulmur.
“It’s a good road map,” said Mulmur Mayor Janet Horner. “As our community grows – and we’re hoping that growth will occur in some parts of Mulmur – that we have some additional services in recreation that we could probably support.”
An important part of recreation services in Mulmur involve the North Dufferin Community Centre (NDCC), the indoor recreation facility located in Honeywood, for which Sierra Planning and Management has also done an efficiency review. The facility is operated collectively by the townships of Mulmur and Melancthon, through a Board of Management.
Being the only indoor recreation facility within the Township of Mulmur, NDCC is an important hub for recreation within the community, states the report. Beyond being an arena, the facility provides community space and is utilized for a variety of sporting practices, games, tournaments, community programs and events.
The NDCC Efficiency Review lays out a number of options ranging from repairing the existing facility, adding new dressing rooms, and expanding the facility. The recommended option is the construction of a new multi-use recreation facility elsewhere on the existing site.
Horner said both reports will inform upcoming planning sessions on the future of the arena.
Two members from each municipality will sit on a task force which will hold its first meeting this month behind closed doors, to try to chart the way forward.
“That task force is going to hammer through some of the big decisions and then come back to our respective councils and present some recommendations,” said Horner.
Questions that need answers include: Where do we go into the future? Do we build a $20-million arena in Honeywood? Do we fix the one we have? Do we sell it? What do we do here going forward?
“But in the end, it’s the taxpayer that has to pay for whatever we do so it’s really Mulmur and Melancthon councils that are going to be charged with trying to come to an agreement on what we have to do, and what we can afford to do,” said Horner.
She said in her opinion, the task force should first determine what are the “givens” and what is up for debate, and then assess each municipality’s appetite for risk and cost.
“Or if we’re doing nothing, that’s a choice as well but the fact remains that if we do nothing, by 2025 if we have an inaccessible facility we are going to have to close it. And that’s what it comes down to,” said Horner. “We have some big choices ahead of us here and how we move forward will have to be negotiated carefully with our partner township, Melancthon, and certainly keeping in mind the needs of the community.”
Horner said there will be a public consultation process once the background work and options have been formulated.
Both documents are available at mulmur.ca.