Monroe’s latest draw: An ice rink?

MONROE — A week after the City Council made a deal to bring a wakeboarding park to Lake Tye, a new idea has been floated to build an ice rink in the city.

The rink would be between 35,000 to 45,000 square feet and would be built at 13800 Fryelands Blvd., just at the southwest corner of U.S. 2, said Clayton Stewart, one of the local businessmen who is scheduled to talk about the proposal tonight.

The City Council meeting is set for 7 p.m. at City Hall, 806 W. Main St.

Stewart, who lives in Lake Stevens, declined to give many specifics about the project including who would be involved because he said everything is preliminary.

“There’s a lot of issues to work through before it could happen,” he said.

One hurdle that must be overcome is a moratorium on development where the business folks wants to build the ice rink. The city imposed the restriction in the area in 2007 to protect First Air Field. The worry then was development around the airport would cause neighbors to try to limit flights.

The business group chose that part of Monroe because there already are other recreational activities in the area, including the YMCA, the skateboarding park and the recently approved wakeboarding park, Stewart said. Even though the group has scouted other locations, they want to stay in Monroe.

A proposal to build an arena in Seattle to house NBA and NHL teams is fueling interest to build the ice rink, Stewart said. A new NHL team would generate more interest in hockey and create more demand for ice rinks than just the ones in Everett and Lynnwood, he said.

“It seems like the right time and the right place,” Stewart said.

The group plans to use the ice rink for public recreational skating and figure skating. It could be available for amateur and semi-pro hockey leagues, Stewart said.

If the council lifts the restriction on development on the land, the group would start negotiating to purchase the 7-acre property owned by East Side Masonry, a Redmond-based company which sells construction materials and already has a building on the site. The group would then apply for traffic and environmental studies, Stewart said.

First Air owner Daryl Habich declined to comment about the proposal because he said he didn’t know enough details.

Since the City Council put the moratorium in place five years ago, the only things that have been built in the area have been a fast-food restaurant, a diesel shop and a fairgrounds building, economic development manager Jeff Sax said.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@ heraldnet.com.

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