While grateful to the Optimist Club of Puslinch for offering to manage and maintain the ice rink and dressing rooms at the multi-use recreational facility (MURF), township officials say the new building likely requires a hired expert to oversee operations.
In a letter to the township last month, Optimist Club president Don Crow said club volunteers would look after the facility for the first skating season and also be willing to take a first aid course and learn to drive the resurfacing machine.
“The Optimist Club has dedicated the last three years to this project and I feel we can and will do the job as good as anyone, if not better … ” Crow said in his letter.
Clerk Brenda Law told council on July 7 the offer is commendable and there will definitely be a role for the club to play at the MURF. But she said for several reasons, including liability concerns and the expertise required, the township should hire someone.
“It’s not as easy as it looks on the surface,” Law said. “I think we need to hire a qualified person that could oversee the facility; especially the ice part of it.”
Mayor Brad Whitcombe said it’s a good idea to have a qualified individual to ensure everything runs smoothly and to look after the volunteers. But he expressed doubt a full-time position is required for the MURF alone and suggested the township may require a manager to oversee all the township’s recreation facilities.
“I just urge everyone to make sure we tap into this generous offer,” Whitcombe said of the Optimist Club’s letter.
Law suggested a person be hired for the winter to look after the ice, and council revisit the matter after that. Visser said a four month contract for the skating season might work best and also help the township develop an operating budget for the rink.
Whitcombe said the township will keep in touch with its recreation committee and the Optimist Club to address management and maintenance issues at the MURF.