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Auburn City Council approves new ice arena

7:07 PM, Oct 16, 2012   |    comments
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AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's been a back-and-forth for Auburn City Councilors, but in a 4-2 vote, the council approved a modified plan for a new dual sheet ice arena.

Decided in a city council meeting Monday night, the city will sign on to a 30-year lease with private developer George Schott.

Schott has agreed to donate the $2 million plot of land nex to the Auburn Mall and beside Shaw's supermarket, and finance the $8.5 arena.

Councilors first approved the arena propsoal in September, then reversed the decision earlier this month.

New financial projects have changed the councilors' minds, according to City Manager Clinton Deschene.

He said a pledged $75 thousand dollars or more in advertising, plus an offer to reduce interest rates for five years, sweetened the deal.

But not everyone is sold.

City Councilor Tizz Crowley said she is surprised "that two councilors could change their positions so easily without, in my opinion, substantial new information."

She said there's no guarantee the city will be able to rent enough ice time over the 30 year span to continue to generate a profit over the 30 year lease.

"There's a strong belief, sort of the 'build it and they will come,'" said Crowley. "Will they come for 30 years?"

According to leaders in the Youth Hockey community -- they will.

"I think everyone in the hockey community is looking forward to it," said Andy Guerin, President of the Gladiators Hockey and Co-President of the Twin City Titans.

There is no set date for ground-breaking for the new arena, but officials with the Auburn Parks and Rec. department expect to have the new arena up and running by Fall 2013.

The Ingersoll Arena in Auburn will stay open until the new arena is complete.

NEWS CENTER

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