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March 4, 2013

Ice rink cost Jeffersonville $75K

Changes presented for other parks programs

JEFFERSONVILLE — The cost of winter entertainment is worth it for the city of Jeffersonville, officials say.

Parks Department Director Paul Northam at a recent city parks authority meeting presented a financial report related to the Jeffersonville Ice Rink that was open from Nov. 23 through the last weekend in January. According to the report, expenses for the ice rink totaled $125,935 and revenue was $50,088, resulting in a loss of $75,847. The city posted a loss of $77,692 for operating the link last year.

Northam explained that while expenses were cut by about $20,000, revenues also dropped by about the same amount.

“A big part of that reason was we had three days that we had to close last year,” he said. “We closed 11 days this year and most of those 11 days were Saturdays and Sundays, which are our big days.”

The monetary losses are something the city is willing to accept.

“City services should not be in the business of making a profit,” said Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore.

He added that he thinks the ice rink is a great idea if managed properly and while there is no measurable impact, the ice rink is definitely an economic tool for the city and its businesses.

 

COSTS INVOLVED

Moore’s comment about management of the rink related to a payment made to Walnut Ridge Nursery and Garden Center of $10,000.

“I’m not comfortable with a council member’s business being paid for work that affects a city project,” he said.

However, Councilman Dennis Julius, an owner of Walnut Ridge, said his business gave the city a cost break on landscaping at the ice rink. The company was hired by the city’s parks department for the work.

“Doing what we do costs us a lot more than $10,000,” he said. “If I was going to do that for another community it would be more than $10,000. It’s quite involved. We don’t just plop a tree down.”

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