Volunteers Offer Oxford Arena a Lifeline
Tonight's special meeting of Oxford Town Council had one item on the agenda—whether to accept a community group's proposal to re-open the arena. Long story short, council said “Yes".
How soon it happens will be up to town staff, the town's solicitor, insurance company, and the community group identified as "The Oxford Arena Committee”, who now must hammer out a lease agreement that protects Oxford taxpayers in the case of any liability.
Oxford Chief Administrative Officer Rachel Jones presented the opinion of the town's insurance company, which recommended the community group have at least $5 million in liability insurance, but $10-million would be “better".
In the end, council approved the group's proposal as written, which provides $2-million for insurance coverage. Any claim above that offloaded to the town's policy.
Council also agreed to let the group begin installing the ice, so it's ready to open quickly once a lease is signed.
The Oxford Arena Committee members include the Oxford Lions Club with three community members - Jordan Burkhardt, Graham Wood, and Bruce Hiltz.
They say they have volunteer support from local residents to cover the various maintenance and operational needs of the arena, including the current arena ice manager who was laid off in last spring with the worsening of the covid-19 pandemic. He will volunteer his time to install the ice.
This appears to remove at least some of the concern around unionized staff who might enter a grievance should the rink return to operations.
As to what the Oxford Arena Committee has planned in terms of operations, hours, etc., we await further announcements.
But for now... time to get those skates sharpened, the arena may be open sooner than we thought.
Oxford Town Council meets again next Monday night, at which point further details are expected.
Click HERE for the complete arena proposal.
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