City hall could offer summer ice to hockey teams and skating clubs this year if the demand is high enough but will wait for further feedback before deciding.
Officials with the parks and recreation department recently met with all ice-based user groups to discuss how their seasons went this year and their future requirements for ice time, said Derek Blais, director of parks and rec, during the April 11 regular council meeting.
Based on this discussion, the department created a form that it wants all current and prospective ice users — especially those who access summer ice elsewhere — to fill out to determine if there is demand for in-city summer ice, he continued.
Officials expect to receive back all the forms by mid-April, Blais added, and will review them to see if opportunities exist to offer summer ice at Mosaic Place.
During a post-meeting media scrum, city manager Jim Puffalt explained that Moose Jaw has not offered summer ice in the past because Caronport and Notre Dame in Wilcox offer that service. That is why teams and other communities go to those venues for summer ice, three-on-three tournaments and hockey camps.
“So, if we don’t have those happening here, then it’s hard to justify putting in the ice because, as you know, we pay demand charges on the arena,” he said. “So as soon as that (ice) plant starts up, that’s the amount (of money) we pay on electricity.
“So we have to be able to make sure the ice is being used, because otherwise, it’s really expensive if it just sits there.”
Puffalt added that hockey interest drops off when spring arrives, while the use of ice at Mosaic Place is already falling.
During the same scrum, Mayor Clive Tolley pointed out that demand will drive whether Moose Jaw offers summer ice.
“If you’re a person out there that wants to rent summer ice, please get in contact with the City of Moose (Jaw’s) parks and recreation department and fill out the ice request form and ask for ice,” he said. “And then once we know what the requirements are, then we’ll make a plan to provide that ice.”
The next regular council meeting is Monday, April 25.