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Posted by Rockford Park District
Posted on October 29, 2020
Action Plan Update: Consolidating ice facilities on hold for now. Going from 2 ice facilities to 1 was proposed as a way to free up limited operational and capital dollars to invest more in community benefit areas such as neighborhood parks, youth programs, and trails.
Since announcing the proposed ice facility consolidation, the District has been approached by a few organizations and donors interested in potentially providing the funding needed to keep Riverview Ice House open. Because of this, Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners will not be taking action on the recommendation to consolidate ice facilities. Commissioners will wait to see if this interest results in securing the $6 million needed to renovate Riverview Ice House and to secure a new and continuous revenue stream to offset the current property tax revenues used to subsidize both ice facilities. The District will be meeting with a small group of stakeholders and potential partners in the near future to focus solely on identifying grant opportunities, along with solidifying donor and sponsorship commitments needed to keep Riverview Ice House open.
Due to the fact that Riverview Ice House mechanicals could permanently break down at any point, the Park Board asked for a conceptual agreement from interested stakeholders in Riverview Ice House to be drawn up in the next two to three weeks. If potential financial opportunities do not work out, the District will have to go back to the original recommendation within the 2020 Action Plan of adding ice to Carlson Ice Arena, closing Riverview Ice House, and repurposing the Riverview Park area.
Riverview Ice House is 45 years old, and well beyond its life span, with the current refrigeration system and required components becoming obsolete. Roughly $6 million would be needed to completely replace the mechanical/refrigeration system and make additional renovations needed. A sustainable revenue stream is also needed to help offset the heavy tax subsidy of $351,958 to operate two ice facilities.