DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

BROCK: The Township of Brock will consider creating an outdoor ice-skating surface at the Sunderland Fairgrounds.


During a meeting on Monday, January 10th, Regional Councillor Ted Smith pointed out the trend of people using stormwater management ponds for ice skating.


“I know there’s been concerns expressed at various spots, regarding the use of stormwater management ponds for skating. I know it’s ongoing and seems to be an annual event, and I get it. They’re sitting there, and they’re very tempting for people to use. [But are] also considered fairly unsafe by those in charge,” he explained.


Councillor Smith then talked about why the Township should establish an ice-skating surface at the fairgrounds. “It would be, in my opinion, very cheap to do, to establish [it], and it would hopefully take people off the stormwater management ponds. [It would] give them another option.”


Fire Chief Rick Harrison pointed out there would be a “liability issue” which the Township would have to work out first.


Ward 1 Councillor Michael Jubb suggested, it would be best for the Regional Councillor to make a motion for the township staff to bring back a report on the feasibility of creating this surface and how the Township could undertake this project.


When the Regional Councillor questioned what the liability issue would be, Councillor Jubb pointed out, there would need to be planning to ensure kids are wearing helmets, and if someone falls on the ice and injures themselves, the Township could face a liability issue there as well.


However, Ward 2 Councillor Claire Doble noted, the Township could simply put up signs saying “use at your own risk.”


Councillor Smith motioned to have the township staff create a report, exploring the possibility and feasibility of an ice surface in front of the grandstand. The motion was seconded by Ward 4 Councillor Cria Pettingill.


“We probably all love the idea of being able to skate outside in the fresh, open-air,” she said.
The council later voted and approved the motion.