Brentwood Mayor Pat Kelly just wanted an idea of where the board of aldermen stood with regard to the at Monday night’s meeting. And he wanted to limit their talk on the topic to 20 minutes at the public meeting. What occurred, however, was a spirited, almost contentious discussion that took almost twice that amount of time — with no decision rendered, and not even a straw vote taken.
“We done surveys, plural,” Kelly said. “We’ve done committees. I think what it comes down to is that the board (of aldermen) really needs to make some decisions in order to give staff direction as to where we want to go.”
Specifically, the board needs to decide whether or not to keep the city’s venerated, but maintenance-heavy ice rink that is underutilized by Brentwood residents and subsidized by the city. Purportedly, only 12 to 17% of the city’s residents use the facility. Most people who use the rink come from outside of Brentwood and include many ice hockey teams.
“The overriding question before we can move forward is: Do we keep the ice rink,” Kelly said.
The recreational complex was built in the 1970s, and does not meet current codes. Also, its roof needs to be replaced and cooling system updated.
The skating rink occupies most of the space at the building.
“We need to give the public some idea as to where we (collectively) stand,” Kelly said. Consequently, the board will discuss the fate of the rink at its next meeting, which has been rescheduled to June 11.
So why the stalemate? “None of the suggestions (for the center and/or rink) have sufficient votes,” said Ward 3 alderman Andy Leahy after the meeting. Five aldermanic votes are needed, and any construction would also require a voter-approved bond issue.
“We’ll keep on meeting until we get a decision,” Kelly said.