Committee gearing up for arena fundraising

The proposed PMD Arena expansion will likely cost over $1-million.
Of that amount, about $286,000 is expected to be covered by fundraising efforts, clerk Patty Sinnamon told The Community News on Monday.
While it may seem daunting, that goal is definitely attainable, said Dale Franklin, who represents the PMD Minor Hockey Association on the steering committee in charge of fundraising.
“We’re certainly going to do our best to get that amount,” Franklin said in an interview. “All we need is momentum and the community to buy in to the idea that it’s a necessary project – and it is.”
She explained that the arena may have been state of the art when it was built, but that was over 30 years ago, and the building is now somewhat outdated.
“There’s lots of people in the community looking forward to this upgrade,” she said.
According to Sinnamon, the total cost of the expansion,  which will include the addition of five large dressing rooms and some extra storage, is expected to be about $1,046,760.
Though not yet  approved in the 2008 budget, Mapleton Township will likely contribute about $300,000 of that total (with around $230,000 coming from general tax revenue and the remainder coming from reserves and reserve funds), Sinnamon said.
And the township has submitted a grant application for $474,000 under the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative.
The $450-million grant program, announced in December, is open to all municipalities in Ontario, regardless of size, with the exception of Toronto. All successful applications are expected to be announced by the end of this month.
Guelph-Eramosa Mayor Chris White, also the chair of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association, has noted that about $750-million worth of grant applications were made, which means the process will be very competitive.
While both the township and the fundraising committee are optimistic the arena expansion will receive funding, Franklin said the committee will not start fundraising until the successful applications are announced by the province.
But regardless of the outcome, Franklin said the committee is excited about the expansion project.
And considering the arena is “such a hub of activity,” she expects widespread support of the fundraising efforts.
The fundraising committee is composed of representatives from the minor hockey association, Drayton Icemen, NDCHL (the local Christian hockey league), Drayton and District Figure Skating, and the Reach Forth program. Also, Ron Ellis will be an at-large member from the community.
The township parks and recreation committee informed Mapleton council last month that forming the fundraising committee would be the best way to fundraise, rather than trying to set individual goals within each of the stakeholder groups.
“I really think the concerted effort will be more effective,” Franklin said. “We’ve got a lot of interesting ideas already … I’m looking forward to it. It looks like it will be an exciting summer.”
In a previous letter to council, parks and recreation committee member David Martin  agreed, and said the fundraising steering committee can’t wait to get started.
“Rest assured, there is excitement, there is passion, and there are people behind this project who are not afraid to work for improvements within our community,” Martin said.