Norwich City Council to look for outside management for ice rink

Norwich – The City Council on Monday voted unanimously in favor of preparing a request for proposals for an outside firm to take over operations at the Norwich Municipal Ice Rink and lease the facility from the city for an annual fee.

The City Council is currently being asked by the Ice Rink Authority to spend $680,000 to replace a failed cooling system. Without the support from the city, the rink will close on July 1, according to authority Chairman and City Council President pro tempore Francois "Pete" Desaulniers.

The council will hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. on April 21 on the proposed ordinance to spend the $680,000.

Alderman Mark Bettencourt, a rink authority member, proposed the request for proposals and has previously said he feared that there would not be enough support on the City Council for the spending ordinance if the city didn't also try to find a new management company to take over all operations.

The city has been subsidizing the rink because of annual losses and the $680,000 would bring the total debt to the city to over $1 million.

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