In a 3-2 vote on Monday night the Tonawanda Town Board rejected a plan to hire an engineering firm to start planning a new $7-million to $8-million hockey arena to replace the 60-year old Brighton rink.  The opinion of the majority was that they realize an upgrade is needed, but the town has other more pressing priorities.

Among the things the board questioned was the cost of building additional parking areas and exactly how much additional income the new rink would bring to the town.  The opinion was new facilities are great, but sewers, roads and curbs are more important for residents of a larger portion of the town.

The issue isn't completely dead.  The board wants to take a look at what they called "firmer numbers" before going ahead with planning.

The vote didn't sit well with supporters of a new ice rink who say that roughly half of the hockey players in the town go elsewhere because of the quality of facilities and available ice time in other towns.  Many of those in attendance quickly got up and left while some hurled insults at board members.

The plan the board had been looking at would place the new ice rink where the Brighton pool and wading pool are now situated.  Both pools would not be replaced.  The new facility would be open at least 10 months a year. The future of the Brighton and Lincoln pools have been undecided.

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