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MD of Bighorn approves new ice rink policy

“The taxpayers across the MD are going to be footing the bills for these facilities that they may not be using. Some of them could be upset to pay for something they don’t use, or live in an area where they wouldn’t possibly use it.”

MD OF BIGHORN – MD council has approved a new ice rink policy to manage the rinks in its hamlets.

This new policy evolved from the discussions over the Dead Man’s Flats ice rink that was constructed in 2022.

This policy will formally define the level of service offered by the MD towards rinks and the community associations that manage them.

Before the new policy, community associations were required to pay for natural gas and electricity, but not water.

“In the past in Dead Man’s Flats, the hot water to flood the rink was donated by a neighbouring home,” Reeve Lisa Rosvold said. “That was how the previous rink got flooded. I am not sure in terms of Exshaw or Harvie Heights how those rinks are maintained.”

Under the new policy, community associations will not be expected to pay for utility services such as water, wastewater, natural gas and electricity.

Coun. Rick Tuza raised the point that some residents who don’t use the rinks may not support paying for their maintenance.

“The taxpayers across the MD are going to be footing the bills for these facilities that they may not be using,” Tuza said. “Some of them could be upset to pay for something they don’t use, or live in an area where they wouldn’t possibly use it.”

Rosvold agreed some may not support it, but added many residents pay for things they don’t use.

“We also don’t use the roads that others use on a regular basis,” Rosvold said. “There is a tax base in these hamlets that help pay for these services, that you don’t see in the rural parts of the MD of Bighorn.”

The MD will also establish an annual budget allowance for the replacement of rink fencing, glass and boards.

In addition, the maintenance and management of ice rinks will be described in separate agreements prepared by the MD.