Relaunch of Oxford Arena Still on Ice
The Oxford Arena is ready to go under new management, just waiting for the paperwork.
It is a frustrating situation for all local parties and voices are rising with an increase in finger pointing.
The town closed the arena earlier this year because of budget concerns and uncertainty over the impact of the expected second wave of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, a community group, led by the town’s Lions Club, stepped forward with an offer to operate the facility with volunteers. On the surface it looks like a win-win, perhaps a ‘no brainer’, and that is how some residents have responded. The Lions Club would have a different level of responsibility and the town cannot be exempt, so they view the situation differently.
Since the property is owned by the town, good intentions and dedicated volunteers cannot replace the town’s responsibilities or obligations to the tax payers and the province.
Oxford Council agreed to lease the facility to the community group, pending discussion with lawyers and insurers. They authorized the group to install the ice and prepare the rink for opening and that is now complete.
The insurance provider suggested the community group boost their liability insurance from two million to five, and that too is done.
People are anxious to open the doors, including town officials, but this is not a simple question, one that requires careful consideration and deserves patient understanding.
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