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COLUMN: Future of Radisson ice arena uncertain

— The YMCA approached town officials in 2002 to have the town of Lysander buy the building and lease it to the YMCA for Y programs. In September of 2002, a permissive referendum was approved by the voters. The proposition approved the issuance of $850,000 of Serial Bonds for the town’s acquisition of the Lysander-Radisson Community Arena. The actual amount borrowed was $620,000. The Y subleased the rink side of the facility to the Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena group, a not-for-profit.

Through the end of the bond payments, which will occur in 2023, the town will have spent a total of $1,824,367.35 on the ice arena ($553,873 on the first purchase and $1,270,494.35on the second purchase).

The YMCA and GBIA have made improvements to each of their respective areas. The Y also contributed $49,385 of the total $231,609.17 in back taxes (owed to the county after the loan defaulted in 1992); the town took responsibility for the remaining portion of the taxes totaling $182,224.44, which is included in the total amount spent by the town on the ice arena.

There are 13 years including 2013 left on the lease with the YMCA and the YMCA’s sub-lease to the GBIA. In the first 10 years of the lease, the town has received approximately $27,000 in rental fees. In addition, the lessee is responsible for maintenance and all other facility expenses. The utility costs are paid by the GBIA and the YMCA pays them $700 per month for the Y’s estimated portion of the utilities.

Salisbury said the leases with the Baldwinsville Y and the Y’s sublease with the GBIA are “terrible leases.”

Earlier this year, the town hired an ice rink expert (Davis Mechanical Service, Inc.) to do an in-depth review of the rink and building to help the board determine the rink’s future.

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