Oxford Not Alone with Arena Woes
The fate of community arenas appeared on the agenda of Oxford Town Council last evening. Councillors received a letter from the Municipality of Pictou County—the original was sent to Premier Stephen McNeil.
Pictou County is calling on the Premier to provide support to community rinks as they face a tough winter ahead in the context of the covid-19 pandemic.
The letter noted that many communities struggle to bring together enough volunteers and enough fundraising to operate at a break-even point, if that.
With the pandemic has come a reluctance of people to gather in large groups and make use of the few facilities that are going to be open. The letter from Pictou County noted that once community rinks are shuttered, they may not be able to reopen.
Oxford Town Council decided in its session last spring that its arena would not be opening for the winter season, as they anticipated a probable second wave of the virus and possible public health orders not to operate.
That scenario coupled with a budget crunch led to the town’s decision to shut it down. Mayor Trish Stewart and councillors in Oxford have repeatedly stated the arena’s shutdown is a temporary measure.
A motion by councillor Wade Adshade to send a letter to Premier McNeil in support of Pictou County’s request was given the full backing by Council.
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