Leaky rink building roof in Iroquois will be patched

In this Google Maps photo, South Dundas council has decided to patch the roof of the Iroquois outdoor rink building after learning a replacement shed proposed by staff would not have given the public anywhere to get warmed up and to change their skates during winter. (Google Maps via Newswatch Group)

MORRISBURG – South Dundas will patch a hole in the roof and block off the kitchen area of its Iroquois outdoor ice skating rink building instead of replacing it with a 10-by-16 utility shed.

That’s after councillors learned the proposed shed would be for storage only and wouldn’t allow skaters a place to get warmed up during the winter nor would it give them a place to change ice skates and winter boots. There would also be no washrooms.

After deciding earlier this year to replace the flat roof on the building near 16 Caldwell Drive with a sloped one, an environmental report uncovered asbestos, which quickly escalated the costs to nearly $47,000 to put a new roof on the building. The alternative was a 10-by-16 shed with benches outside under an awning for about $17,000. Council budgeted $20,000 for repairs this year.

But instead, councillors want the hole patched and want the future council to explore a longer term plan and building next year.

“I am totally not willing to put a 10×20 shed or any sized shed in there that is not accessible to the public for the people to change their skates,” Coun. Bill Ewing exclaimed. “If I lived in that area, I would be at the next council meeting to find out what’s going on with my taxes.”

“We’re going to put a building up that’s not going to encourage the use of that rink simply because they’re going to be sitting in a snowbank to change skates and boots,” Coun. Archie Mellan added.

“I won’t support that to put that up and have somebody in a snowbank changing their skates. I did that when I was five and it wasn’t any fun and I’m sure the 5-year-olds aren’t going to enjoy themselves any more than I did,” Mellan said.

South Dundas Recreation Director Ben Macpherson expresses his concern about liability to township council during a meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. A consultant’s report says the roof on the Iroquois outdoor rink building is at the end of its life. Also shown are Coun. Marc St. Pierre and Coun. Archie Mellan. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

But South Dundas Recreation Director Ben Macpherson was reluctant go ahead with council’s direction considering a consultant had said the roof was at the end of its life. He’s concerned about the municipality’s exposure to liability.

“I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting someone in there knowing that water is penetrating through every part of that building, through that roof. You put a snow load on that roof. I wouldn’t put my kids in there,” Macpherson said.

“If we go ahead with this and we patch that roof, and that roof does collapse and fails, all our names are on this. Everybody here at this table.”

“Put my name on it, I have no problem. I have a better chance of winning the lottery. I’m serious,” Deputy Mayor Jim Locke responded.

The deputy mayor said there is one major hole. “The roof is not collapsing. The ceiling might be where it got wet but there’s a hole in the roof about eight inches in diameter. Why can it not be patched?”

“Stop the leak in the roof and utilize the building,” he said.

“Did the consultant tell us that the building was unfit to be in, that it needed to be posted that no one is allowed in it?” Coun. Bill Ewing asked. “No,” Macpherson mumbled. “Then the roof is still intact,” Ewing concluded.

A tender is being sent out shortly to patch the roof.