We are disappointed that Ballot Question #6 did not gain the necessary support to ensure a viable rink in Belmont in the future.
We thank every volunteer for their energy and commitment to the cause. We believe the outcome is more of a reflection of the current financial times rather than this specific project’s worth.
It will take some time to figure out what the actual path forward looks like. The Select Board will have to weigh in on their intentions. Then the School Committee and the hockey community will have to discuss options. Hopefully there is a positive path ahead that does not lead to a ramp down in participation and excellence in ice sports here in Belmont.
Thanks again for everyone’s work.
CANCELLED : Visit the Rink:
BYHA’s Ice Breaker will take place on November 5th!
The ice cannot be made because the temperature outside is too warm. Yes, the equipment is so old it cannot create ice unless it basically forms most of the way naturally. And this also indicates that the facility is not really an indoor rink!
- Belmont community members
- Belmont town programs
- Belmont school and youth athletic programs
- Area wide organizations
- The environment
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What’s at stake?
If the Debt Exclusion does not pass …
- The town loses wonderful assets
- Costs will still be incurred
- Significant environmental impact
- More than 1000 student athletes impacted each year
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The Select Board unanimously voted to put the question for the Debt Exclusion for the Belmont rink and surrounding area on the November 8th ballot. The rink and White Field House are beyond repair and on the verge of being shuttered. The town listed these assets in their infrastructure plan 20 years ago. It is now time for the rink and White Field House project.
If the ballot question does not pass, the current buildings will become white elephants on school land because there is no funding to even remove them. The field sport teams will not have locker rooms and skating programs will not have a home in Belmont.
The planned renovated rink will:
- Ensure the youth hockey program, the winning BHS hockey teams and the 17 other skating programs that use the rink continue.
- Provide locker room and meeting areas for field sports, some that do not have such a space currently.
- Provide bathrooms and a concession area for events at the rink and surrounding fields.
- Be self-sustaining or revenue generating making this project a very solid investment for the town, based on data from rinks in nearby towns.
The campaign needs your support! Please sign up to volunteer, donate or put up a lawn sign. Most importantly, please vote yes for the rink and field sports facilities on November 8th!
The Ballot Question:
Shall the Town of Belmont be allowed to exempt from the provisions of Proposition two-and-one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay for the bonds issued in order to pay for costs of designing, demolishing, constructing, originally equipping, and furnishing the Belmont Ice Skating Rink, located at 345 Concord Avenue in Belmont, and all costs incidental or related thereto?
Debt Exclusion: A community can assess taxes in excess of its levy limit for the payment of a specified debt if an exclusion is granted. Proposition 2 1/2 sets the levy limit. The additional amount for the payment of the debt service is added to the levy limit for the life of the debt only.
Probable tax impact: The rink cost accepted by the Select Board on 10/4/22 is 33.39 million. Just under 2 million has been raised by BYHA for the rink. Once the rink debt exclusion is passed, the BYHA fundraising team will reach out to corporate sponsors and others in hopes of raising another 1 million. The tax impact as stated by the town is : for a $1,346,700 home, starting 2/1/24 the tax increase will be $282/year for 30 years. (A Belmont resident put together this tax estimator with a link to the Assessor’s database, so you can calculate your exact tax.)
Comments on the cost of the planned facility
A standard ice rink is 17,000 sq ft. An olympic size rink is 20,000 sq ft. If you create a building that is exactly this size (no site preparation) at the east coast community building cost of roughly $600/sq ft the total is $10.2 million. When one includes some space around the actual rink, which is obviously necessary, the cost goes up. The planned facility is 41,465 sq ft which comes to $24.9 mil based on $600/sq ft. The facility includes walking space around the ice, player boxes, areas for the building systems, a space for the zamboni, the field house locker rooms replacements, changing spaces for users of the rink, some space for bleachers, and a front lobby area with bathrooms and concessions.
The project total of $33.39 million includes demolition of the current rink, site preparation, solar for the roof, work on the parking in the “jug handle,” escalation because the project will take place in 2023 and 2024, design and OPM (owner’s project manager) fees and contingencies.
The regular size, enclosed, Brookline rink that is part of their feasibility study is stated as slightly less than $25 million because $400/sq ft was used in the calculation. This could be because the study is more than 1 year old or because it is only a feasiblity study and not an actual project yet.
Let’s complete the LIST:
The town of Belmont, in 2000, realized the town had not been good stewards of its infrastruacture and put forward a list of projects that needed attention. The rink and White field house were on that list. Over the past 20 years most projects have been completed. It’s time to finish the list!
In support of our Rink
“My family and I went to Sunday public skating hours this winter. There was a huge crowd at the rink.
To me, it felt like being at the pool on a busy summer day. This is despite the fact that the rink offers no rentals and otherwise has limited facilities. I have no doubt that an upgraded rink will see a much greater use by the town residents.”
“Besides school and my home, there is nowhere in town I’ve spent more of my life. I’ve practically lived
at the rink with my hockey friends from November to March, since I was 4. It’s been a special place and
a huge part of my life.”
“I have been with the S.P.O.R.T program for 25 years. This program provides a unique opportunity for
people of all abilities to bond and form long lasting friendships. A new skating rink would provide a safe,
accommodating facility for ALL members of our community including those with special needs.”