New ice skating and recreation center proposed in South WindsorPosted: Updated:
The South Windsor Town Council will hear from the public about a proposal to put two ice rinks near the Evergreen Walk at a public hearing Monday night.
In town, some residents told Eyewitness News that they are concerned with the price of the project and councilors want to review the numbers.
"Somehow, some way they've convinced people this will be a viable project," said Richard Grigorian of South Windsor Arena.
Grigorian has been running the South Windsor Arena for about 40 years and he told Eyewitness News that the new rinks would not force him to close his business. However, Grigorian said he remains against the project.
The proposed project calls for two ice rinks along with a rec center with a swimming pool to be located next to the outdoor shopping center with a price tag of complex being about $10.5 million.
The town would lease the complex from the developer for 30 years at somewhere between a $500,000 to $1 million a year.
"If we were to do this hockey rink as they proposed, the debt service would be $600,000 in the lease," said South Windsor Town Manager Matt Galligan. "Then with the pool aspect, my estimate was close to $1 million."
After 30 years, the town could buy the buildings for a dollar. Galligan said South Windsor has been looking at a new rec center for years, but convincing people in tough economic times can be difficult.
"I think what we need to do is to plan it out, educate the public and try and get some support for this," he said.
Because no money needs to be bonded for the project, it doesn't have to go to a town vote. Instead, it will be up to the town council to decide if the plans go forward and that's not sitting well with Grigorian.
"The council can vote 5-4 and pass a $22 to $30 million lease arrangement," he said. "And we find that unacceptable."
The public working session is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at South Windsor Town Hall.
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