By JIMMY LAWTON
OGDENSBURG – After much discussion city council voted to raise all rates at the Lockwood Arena by $5, including rates for Ogdensburg youth groups and residents.
A resolution brought to council would have raised rates at the Lockwood Arena by $5 for non-residents, but included just a $1 increase for Ogdensburg youth groups and a $2 hike for adult residents of the city. That proposal was estimated to increase revenue by $1,700.
However, several councilors feared the increase was insufficient. Mayor Wayne Ashley, Deputy Mayor Michael Morley, and councilors Dan Skamperle, David Price and Timothy Davis said the proposal would have little impact in reducing the $38,000 loss at the arena.
Morley said the city needed to stop subsidizing the arena because the taxpayers can’t afford it. He said didn’t want to close the arena, but added that the city needs to reduce the $38,000 loss.
Parks and Recreation Director Matthew Curatolo said the recommendation was brought forward by the Recreation Committee. The idea was to keep prices low for city youth groups to ensure they didn’t go elsewhere for ice. He said increasing the rates further would likely result in reduced use by local youth groups as there is ice available at the golden dome for a similar price.
Councilor Jennifer Stevenson said she wasn’t sure the council was comparing apples to apples with the dome, which has heat and showers available.
However council voted 5-1 in favor of the new rates. Councilor Brian Mitchell was not present.
The new hourly rate for resident youth groups increases from $65 to $70 per hour. Non-resident youth groups would rise from $85 to $90 per hour.
For resident adult groups, rates would rise from $75 to $80. Adult rates for non-residents would increase from $95 to $100. For birthday parties the rates would raise from $65 to $70 per hour.