Council members displeased with condition of locker rooms at Falleti Ice Arena
City Council members piggybacked on a request by Public Works Director Matt Worth to replace the dehumidification unit at Falleti Ice Arena to express their disdain for the conditions of the locker rooms and other aspects of the facility during their meeting Monday night at City Centre Council Chambers.
“The locker rooms are disgusting … as a city we should be ashamed of ourselves to let it go this much,” Councilman Paul Viele said. “We need to help the rink management to get them where they need to be.”
Viele (armed with photos -- see above) and Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. pointed out that the locker rooms exhibit mold in the carpeting, peeling paint, hanging cable lines and falling ceiling tiles, prompting Worth to say that previous inspections revealed that “general housekeeping was not up to par.”
Councilman John Canale mentioned the size and condition of the locker room for the women and girls who play in organized leagues at the Evans Street rink.
“The female locker room is very small,” Canale said.
Viele agreed, stating that plans need to be made to create a separate, adequate area for females.
“We need to get a women’s locker room so some of the women and girls aren’t sharing a locker room with the guys. We need to spruce it up to be competitive with other rinks like Lakeshore and Bill Gray’s and Scottsville as other teams want to come and enjoy our rink.”
Viele also said he didn’t like it when the heaters weren’t turned on for spectators at youth league games.
“It seems like they’re only on when the high school plays,” he said. “What about when all of these people come to watch their kids – hundreds of visitors who spend money at our restaurants?”
He noted that the Zamboni machine that resurfaces the ice broke down over the weekend, and that a replacement had to be found.
City Manager Jason Molino, who plays in the Batavia Men’s League at Falleti Ice Arena, said he hadn’t heard of any complaints, but welcomes public input.
“If there are complaints we’d like to hear them so we can move sooner rather than later,” Molino said. “Then we will sit down with the operator (Firland Management).”
Per the city’s contract with Firland, the management group is responsible for maintenance and upkeep.
At the close of the discussion, Council instructed Worth to talk to Firland personnel about their concerns.
Those rooms are a disgrace ... again. They were remodeled a couple years back and now look like crap again. Blame is shared by mgmt, kids, parents and mens league teams. I know that it's a pipe dream, but if Batavia had a dual rink setup with a "nice" snack or eating area, proper seating and other modern amenities, we'd get a lot more tournaments in Batavia. That means commerce. Revenue for hotels, eateries and other businesses. Being centrally located between Buffalo and Rochester just makes sense.
Thanks Paul Viele for making this issue visible.
There is ZERO excuse for the conditions at the arena. Here we have what could and should be a local jewel that was given to the taxpayers via federal grant in the early 1970's and what it has devolved to is in many cases a craphole.
If the city doesn't want to manage it and they farm out that management to Firland, then hold Firland accountable for what is not being done. I get the distinct impression that the staff at the arena are doing the absolute minimum (or less) to get by.
There's a very simple solution to the damage done to locker rooms. When coaches/manages arrive at the arena and want a key, they pay a $20 deposit. When the team is done with the room, the staff inspects the room and if everything is suitable the deposit is returned. Not rocket science. This kind of system has worked in the past.
I have about 25 years experience in and around that rink, so I speak from experience.
Paul Viele has been on this issue for a long time, and is not going to let up until it is fixed.
And I think Dave has a good idea.
But this is another example of bad City planning. It sounded good when the City built this, but government is never any good running thing like this and did not always do a good job on its lease contracts.
And it should never have been built attached to the Fire Department. That limits things that can be done with the building.
And another thing, for Jason Molino who plays in the Men's League to say he's unaware of any complaints is a bit disingenuous. He's in those locker rooms once a week. He's a goalkeeper so he can't be blind. One would wonder why it would have taken a councilperson to hold the rink management contractor accountable when the city manager could have done it immediately.
The reason that the conditions in the rink have gotten so bad comes down to ONE reason. LAZINESS.
If the current staff doesn't want to keep the place clean and in good repair, then the city should force the contractor to replace that staff.
And the goalies spend the most time in the locker room. Lots more padding and such. So open the blind eye, notate the problems and hold someone accountable.