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Morgantown Ice Arena inspection yields positive news; BOPARC $3.5M in the black

MORGANTOWN — BOPARC Executive Director Melissa Wiles said she recently received some good news regarding the Morgantown Ice Arena. 

As a result of a $15,400 contract with Omni Architects approved in June, Wiles said infrared scoping was completed on the glycol lines that run beneath the ice slab and everything appears to be intact and in working order, freeing up a substantial amount of money for the building’s other needs. 

“We do still need to address major mechanical systems,” she said, listing the chiller and dehumidification units for ice making and the building’s HVAC system as major expenses.  

BOPARC already has a $520,000 grant through West Virginia’s Land and Water Conservation Fund in hand to replace the building’s roof.  

Now that the building has had a thorough inspection, Wiles explained, the board can begin charting an overall approach and phasing for needed improvements. 

These activities come after BOPARC voted in February to pull the plug on a $15 million overhaul of the facility in the face of soaring costs and mounting pushback from user groups over the scope of the project.  

It was explained at the time that Mylan Park would look into the construction of a facility more suited to the competitive needs of groups like the Morgantown Hockey Association and WVU Hockey, while BOPARC would explore arena improvements aimed at community recreation.  

In other BOPARC news, if you were to go back five years and tell Wiles that the city’s park system would soon have a $3.5 million budget carryover, she may have thought you concussed.   

But that’s exactly the situation BOPARC currently finds itself in. 

During a recent breakdown of BOPARC’s 2022-23 end-of-year numbers, Wiles explained the $3,547,751.66 carryover is, as one might imagine, a result of receiving more and spending less than anticipated. 

All told, BOPARC brought in $2,398,512.09 more than anticipated on the revenue side.  

That largely comes by way of sales tax allocation. The parks anticipated receiving $2.2 million in sales tax dollars and actually received just over $4.6 million. That number is somewhat deceiving as $1.5 million of the overage was due to distribution of funds that should have been received in the 2021-22 fiscal year. The other $900,000 is down to the city taking in more sales tax dollars than planned.   

The city’s municipal sales tax took effect in July 2020. BOPARC receives 25% of the sales tax revenue collected by the city. 

On the expense side, Wiles explained BOPARC spent just over $1.1 million less than budgeted, including $792,508 that was designated for “sales tax projects” (see above) and $199,316 for playgrounds. 

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