Mayor: City committee to discuss outstanding bills related to ice rink

Whether a nonprofit group operating Airmen Pond at Bowman Field has paid its bills due to the city is among the questions City Council expects to have answered at its finance committee meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Last month, the committee discovered there were several outstanding invoices, but that none was overdue at that time, said Councilman Jonathan Williamson, committee chairman.

The nonprofit group, Williamsport Ice Arena, that operates the ice rink, owes the city $15,000 in utility bills, but the invoice was sent to the wrong place, according to Mayor Gabriel J. Campana. “I am confident the light bill will be paid,” Campana said.

A second issue, according to Williamson, is to ensure whether the nonprofit and the Outlaws hockey team fulfill their obligation to pay a $20,000 assurance bond, money that guarantees the field is restored once the ice rink is removed and the city, which owns Bowman Field, isn’t on the hook to make repairs.

Three $5,000 payments had been made, Williamson said, and “a fourth payment was pending” at the last meeting. “We’ve asked for and expect to receive an update on all of these issues.”

As of Jan. 1, the date the final payment was due, the city had not received the payment, according to Campana.

“On behalf of the taxpayers, council has tried to keep a close eye on the financial relationship between the city, the Williamsport Ice Arena, the nonprofit group operating the rink, and the Williamsport Outlaws,” Williamson said. “Council wants to make sure the relationship with partners that it has contracts with are making all of their payments, so taxpayers are protected from taking on any burden should these payments not be made.

“While many of the organizations have longstanding relationships in the community, the Outlaws and the nonprofit remain in the process of gaining the community’s trust,” he said.

“We’re addressing a bill situation,” Campana said. “I will make sure bills are paid and take every measure possible any bills due to the city are fulfilled.”

The committee convenes at 3:30 p.m.