The Municipality of Cumberland is continuing its support of the Oxford Arena Association as it continues to improve and operate a facility that is important to residents of both the municipality and Oxford.
Mayor Murray Scott, Deputy Mayor Mark Joseph and Coun. Angel McCormick recently visited the arena to present a cheque for $14,250 to association representatives Jordan Burkhardt and Paula Rogers.
“The Oxford arena is operated and supported by a group of volunteers from the town and the county, which says a lot about the community. This facility is part of the bigger puzzle that is Cumberland County and it’s used by a lot of citizens in both the county and Oxford,” the mayor said. “Where would we be without this facility and the many wonderful programs that are being operated here.”
Municipality of Cumberland Mayor Murray Scott presents the municipality’s contribution to Oxford Arena Association treasurer Paula Rogers while (from left) Deputy Mayor Mark Joseph, Jordan Burkhardt of the arena association and Coun. Angel McCormick look on. Darrell Cole – Municipality of Cumberland photo
The mayor said it’s important for the municipality to support the facility and it is well aware of the cost of operating an arena.
“We know what it cost to operate a facility like this and we know how hard it is on the budget, but it’s a facility that’s so important to the community and is widely used by people in both the municipality and the Town of Oxford we feel we need to support an organization that does so much for our citizens and our children,” the mayor said.
The arena association took over operation of the Oxford rink during the 2020-21 winter season. With COVID-19 restrictions, Oxford opted not to open the facility because of the risk association with spending a lot of money to open the rink only to have new restrictions close it.
The community-based organization was formed and signed an agreement with the town allowing it to operate the arena and schedule events there – although the rink is still owned by the town.
Several renovations were made to the facility during the last two years including upgraded dressing rooms, a newer canteen, a meeting room and heated room upstairs as well as other mechanical upgrades. This year saw a new security system put in place.
Burkhardt said the county’s support is very important to what the association wants to accomplish.
“It’s critical for us to be able to continue operating,” Burkhardt said. "This facility may be located in Oxford, but it’s important to both town and county residents. More than 80 per cent of our board members are county residents and the use is similar.”
Burkhardt said volunteers are so important to the operation of the facility, adding there’s a strong cross section of people from both municipal units pitching in to make the arena run and be successful.