The town hall of Colombes has decided to close the Olympic Philippe Candeloro ice rink, for economic and ecological reasons.
A collective "Let us skate in Colombes" has formed to fight against this closure.
Philippe Candeloro himself joined the movement.
The town hall and the collective do not seem to share the same opinion on the importance of the place in Colombes.
30,000 euros of heating per month, 540,000 euros of structural deficit per year, and a minimum cost of 2.5 million euros of urgent investment.
These are the accusations made by the town hall against the Olympic ice rink Philippe Candeloro.
A financial chasm, in short, that elected municipal officials decided to fill on June 26.
A decision widely contested by users, both for its suddenness and its lack of perspective.
“The signals were not good”
The protesters gathered under the banner of a collective "Let us skate in Colombes".
They criticize the town hall for providing figures that lack consistency.
The high energy cost would, for example, be distorted, because “the heating of the ice rink was coupled with that of the Olympic swimming pool”.
Closing the latter for work would cause overconsumption of the ice rink.
Another criticism leveled at elected officials is the lack of communication.
No less than two months before closing, during the ice rink club party, the mayor gave everyone an appointment, “next year”.
A few weeks later, "without notice or discussion with the clubs", says the collective, the condemnation of the ice rink is announced.
"The signals have not been good," he says.
“We are ready to accept things if we work on them together”, continues the collective, “but this is a unilateral decision by the town hall, which does not take into account the solutions that exist.
Philippe Candeloro, collective support
These solutions are mentioned by Philippe Candeloro himself.
“For eight months, I worked peacefully with the municipality to meet private individuals capable of setting up a multiplex,” he certifies.
"A company called Synerglace has also offered to take over the management of the ice rink for the next 24 months", confides the vice world champion, slipping that with good management, an ice rink "can be profitable.
But, "the mayor redid an audit on the AOT (Temporary Occupation Authorization), and said that it put him in criminal danger", he laments.
This ice rink which saw him take his first steps on ice, which he says welcomes 2,500 Colombians per month, would therefore be condemned.
Philippe Candeloro regrets a certain "stubbornness" of the town hall, he who sees "of common interest" the survival of the ice rink.
“If our ice rinks close, winter sports are over in France.
The ice rink allows you to discover at least five Olympic disciplines,” he explains, before emphasizing the importance of the ice rink in the reputation of the city.
"The collective gives fragmented information to families"
Mr. Chaimovitch made a point of recalling the reasons that led him to make this decision.
"The ice rink is half a million losses per year, an asbestos thermal sieve, and an energy consumption equivalent to that of 16 schools", he lists.
He also questions the lack of dialogue of which he is accused by the collective.
“We have hosted the ice club many times.
We looked for solutions with the Anière ice rink, ”he says.
“We looked, we haven't found it yet, but to say that there was no dialogue is false.
The collective gives fragmented information to families, ”says the mayor of Colombes.
The takeover by a private company remains a solution, but "it can't be done with the snap of a finger", confides Patrick Chaimovitch, and even if a multiplex were born, the mayor cannot ensure that it would contain a track of ice.
He is also not worried about the reputation of the city in the face of the loss of this building.
“If there is no more ice rink, Colombes will be recognized for its other sports”, he assures, even adding that “the Five Nations tournament passed in Colombes before.
His departure did not destroy the city.
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