MENASHA, Wis. (WFRV) - The future of an ice arena in the Fox Valley is up in the air.
After Winnebago county took over sole ownership of the Tri-County Ice Arena in Menasha last month, they vowed to keep it open. However, who it's run by and how it's paid for are still in question.
The 35 year old facility is home to several youth and high school hockey leagues, and figure and speed skating clubs in the valley.
"It provides a recreation venue," Gordon Eckrich, President of the Tri-County Recreation Association, said. "It provides the structure of a group activity."
But the winter hot spot is in dire need of some repairs, mainly, a new parking lot. And those who run it are wondering who's going to pay for it.
The Tri-County Recreation Association manages the facility.
"Outagamie county decided last year to divest themselves from the facility and let Winnebago County do with it what they will," said Eckrich.
What started as a three-county operation between Outagamie, Winnebago and Calumet is now completely owned by Winnebago County.
The arena's sole source of income is revenue from ice rental fees and summer trade shows.
"They haven't been able to generate enough revenue from the operations to cover all of the operational expenses and generate significant reserves to do capital improvements," Mark Harris, Winnebago County Executive, said.
Harris is asking the Winnebago County Board to decide if they want to continue to own the arena, sell it, or create a fund to help with improvements.
"The ideal situation for the Tri-County Recreation Association, and we think for this facility, would be to have the county stay as owner and let us continue to run it," added Eckrich.
"There's a lot of creative things we can do to make this work," said Harris.
The topic will be up for discussion at the next County Board meeting. However, no vote is scheduled.