Fairview council tables action on ice rink assessment

News-DemocratNovember 19, 2013 

The Fairview Heights city council Tuesday night declined to approve the expenditure of $1,464 to investigate why the area at the Crossroads Shopping Center could be flooding during heavy rain.

The council heard, and in a 5 to 4 vote, declined, to enter into a contract with Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen, Inc. to examine the storm sewer line at the center to determine if pipe collapses could be the cause of flooding.

The council also declined to approve a $1,000 sponsorship of the Ladies Night Out Fundraiser for the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois. Those who voted against the measure were Ward 5 Alderwoman Denise Williams, Ward 1 Alderman Joshua Frawley, Ward 3 Alderwoman Pat Baeske, Ward 3 Alderman Scott Greenwald and Ward 4 Alderwoman Linda Arnold cited concern about spending public tax dollars to benefit a private organization. Baeske suggested that instead of using public money, the council members could each donate $100 to the organization.

A motion to approve spending $3,600 to pay a firm to conduct a structural assessment of the U.S. Ice Sports Complex at 125 South Ruby Lane was tabled and sent back to the finance committee for more discussion. The motion, if it had been approved, would have funded the assessment with Hotel/Motel Tax funds.

"I've still got a lot of questions with it and I can't support it right now until I get some of these questions answered," Ward 2 Alderman Roger Lowry explained before the council voted. "To get a structural analysis we have to go into that building. It's a building we don't own. That building is not city property and we can't just give someone permission to go in the building."

The complex has been closed for more than a year since mine subsidence damaged the ice rinks. Damage from a mine settling beneath the complex was discovered and evaluated Oct. 8, 2012. The owner of the rink has been cited by the city for several ordinance violations since its closure, including for parking lot violations, high grass/weeds, roof drainage violations and an unsecured entrance.

The 75,000-square-foot facility at 125 S. Ruby Lane has two National Hockey League-sized rinks and hosted numerous activities such as men's and youth hockey leagues, church groups, public sessions and private rentals.

The complex opened in May 1998. It was built with the help of a $575,000 investment from the city. That loan was paid off in 2006.

The newly constructed Miracle League special needs ballfield at Moody Park will get the handicapped restrooms organizers have been unable to raise enough money to build.

At the meeting Arnold announced two local businessmen, Mark Hendricks of Impact Strategies and Dave Dillow of Woolpert have offered to build the restrooms at the park for the ballfield.

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