Janesville61°

Council to decide on ice center remodeling

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Gazette staff
February 21, 2009
— The Janesville City Council on Monday will decide whether to spend $200,000 to remodel the Janesville Ice Skating Center to house a junior A hockey team.

North American Hockey League rules require separate locker rooms for the teams, and council members are being asked to spend the money to upgrade the ice rink’s facilities.


Council members have already unanimously approved spending $29,000 for an architect to draw plans for renovations.


The city could collect $15,000 to $20,000 in net annual revenue if a junior A hockey team located here.


The money would go to the general fund and offset the city’s annual $85,000 subsidy to the ice arena.


The annual cost would be about $1 a year for the owner of a home assessed at about $113,000.


The city is assuming some risk if the team is unsuccessful, but people who use the ice rink would benefit from the improvements, according to a memo from City Manager Eric Levitt to council members.


The new locker room also could be rented to the Janesville School District or UW-Whitewater, according to the memo.


And the improvements to the center will be needed in five years anyway.


Housing a team would impact Friday night skates, Saturday night youth hockey games and weekday figure skating practices, according to the memo. The groups are receptive to schedule changes.


Some council members are concerned about selling beer during games.


The hockey players will be 16 to 20 years old.


They play for a chance to compete at the college level or possibly in the National Hockey League.


Wisconsin Hockey Partners must decide whether it will be worth the financial risk to locate in Janesville.


A franchise fee is $200,000. The team must draw an average of 700 fans for each game. It also needs corporate sponsors.


The team would create four full-time jobs and some part-time positions.


ON THE AGENDA

The Janesville City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson Street.


Items on the agenda include:


-- Public hearing and action on a proposed resolution authorizing the city manager to execute a use agreement with the Wisconsin Hockey Partners and provide funding for the Janesville Ice Skating Center renovations of up to $200,000.


-- Public hearing and action on a proposed ordinance adopting the city of Janesville comprehensive plan.


-- Action on a proposed resolution granting easement rights to ANR Pipeline Company for construction of a natural gas transmission line across city-owned property.


-- Action on a proposed resolution authorizing the city administration to expend additional funds in response to the 2008 flood event in the city of Janesville.



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