The Lysander Town Board last week approved to sell its ice rink for $600,000 to the Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena, a non-profit organization. The unanimous vote came with no discussion between board members and just a couple questions raised by residents who attended the meeting.
“These people have been running [the rink] for the last 12 years and they’re willing to pay the price that we put on it after we had the evaluation made and after talking to one or two other possible buyers,” Supervisor John Salisbury said. “This is the best deal.”
As part of the agreement, there is a $10,000 non-refundable deposit. Additionally, the rink must stay a rink in order for the sale to go through, Salisbury said.
The town purchased the Lysander Radisson Community Arena, located at 2725 W. Entry Road, in 2002 after voters approved the sale in a permissive referendum. Consequently, the YMCA leased the building and then subleased the rink side of the facility to the GBIA.
The town received approximately $27,000 in rental fees from the first 10 years, and currently gets no revenue from the lessee. The town borrowed $620,000 in bonds to pay for the arena in 2002 and still owes $345,000 on the property. The town will be able to pay off the debt with the sale, which takes six months, or 180 days, to finalize. That’s about a $50,000 annual savings, Salisbury said.
“Up until last year, we were paying $80,000 a year because $30,000 was going toward back property taxes that we had to reimburse the county for,” Salisbury said in a follow up interview with the Messenger after the meeting.
The sale, however, is subject to a permissive referendum. A notice by the town clerk must be published within 10 days of the resolution; and within 30 days of that notice, a petition opposing the sale can be submitted to the town, containing 5 percent of those who voted in the last gubernatorial election. In Lysander, that number totals about 300. A permissive referendum would then be held and allow the public to decide whether or not the town could sell the ice rink.