by Melissa Lehto
Meadowbrook Arena in L’Anse is starting a new season with the coming of winter. Local volunteers are busy raising necessary funds to help offset the costs of keeping the rink open. For many years, Meadowbrook had been funded through the Village of L’Anse helping with utility costs. The funding became unavailable for the rink when the L’Anse Warden Electric Company was awarded a tax break by the Michigan Tax Tribunal. Because of restructuring due to the tax case, Meadowbrook supporters had to find a new way to pay for those costs. Bob LaFave, L’Anse Village Manager, stated, “It was not something the village wanted to happen, but we did what we could in this situation.” Through many volunteer hours and generous donations last year, the rink users and supporters raised the $35,000 necessary for utilities. Meadowbrook received over $20,000 in donations with 2% funds from Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Downtown Development Association, L’Anse Township, and L’Anse Warden Electric Company, to name just a few donors. A Plum Creek grant (now Weyerhaeuser Company) allowed KCo Construction of L’Anse to make improvements to the existing building. According to Schaefer, KCo was able to supply the rink a great discount to install new windows inside the upstairs viewing area, new ingress and egress doors and emergency exits, and new overhead garage doors. They also sealed off an old garage door that was no longer in use with insulation, and did some painting. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.