Resident seeks to revive skating rink at Mountainview Parkette

ERIN – A local resident here is asking council to consider chipping in for a community ice rink.

Stephen Sargent appeared before council on Nov. 24 to propose an ice rink at the Mountainview Parkette, a roughly 50-by-95 foot area of grass owned by the town and located at the corner of Mountainview Crescent and Dianne Road.

“In the winter it sees occasional use for building snow-people but otherwise sees little to no use,” Sargent wrote in a proposal outline submitted to council.

Speaking to councillors, Sargent said a rink would provide “an outdoor activity space for this pocket of Erin for neighbours to come together [and] get some exercise outside.”

Sargent built his own backyard rink and noticed neighbours were doing the same.

In conversations with them, he learned the parkette was home to a community rink some years ago, and heard the town had a hydrant installed for residents to flood and maintain the rink surface.

But now there isn’t a hub for the neighbourhood to go.

Sargent said the area is “severely lacking in outdoor activities for children” and that an outdoor rink at Victoria Park in Hillsburgh requires a commute.

Councillors were provided with suggestions of varying levels of support, ranging from simple permission for use of the parkette, to the provision of building materials.

“I would submit to you that it’s not a big cost to provide the full-scale of support,” he said, adding expenses, all-in, would come to around $2,000.

He noted the two biggest challenges would be water supply and how much financial support the township would be willing to provide.

In remarks following Sargent’s presentation, councillor John Brennan said the idea was “very good” and suggested a community grant.

Councillor Jamie Cheyne suggested approaching community groups and said the rink was a good idea.

“I think we might need to look at … not only the water, but lighting and safety … but I would think [that is] something staff could come back and give us some details on that,” Cheyne added.

Councillor Bridget Ryan said “this is exactly what our community needs as we grow; more opportunities for kids to be visible and things to do.”

But she noted concerns about insurance and the cost.

The proposal was referred to staff to gather more information and report back to council.