The company that runs the Los Angeles Kings Valley Ice Center in Pacoima will be the new operator of the roller rink at Ralph Foy Park starting Feb. 1, after a decision by the Burbank City Council on Tuesday.
Council members unanimously voted to award P.I.M. Inc. a five-year agreement to take over and eventually renovate the Burbank Roller Hockey Facility.
With approval from the City Council, a 30-day notice has been issued to Frank Dalessandro, current operator of the outdoor rink.
Gwen Indermill, recreation services manager for the city's Parks and Recreation Department, said the company will have a fixed monthly rent for the first two years of the agreement, paying Burbank $14,000 annually during those years.
The rent will increase during the third through fifth years to $21,000 annually or 3% of the facility's gross revenue per year, whichever is greater.
She added that if the City Council decides to extend its agreement with P.I.M. Inc., rent will be either $26,000 annually or 6% of the rink's gross revenue, again whichever is greater.
P.I.M. Inc. has agreed to make more than $100,000 in capital improvements to the outdoor rink, located near the corner of Victory Boulevard and Ontario Street.
In the first year, Indermill said the company will replace the rink's sideboards with ones made out of a fiberglass-like material similar to the boards found in an indoor ice rink, replace or reuse the perimeter fence and install a new scoreboard, nets and audio system.
The first-year improvements will also include installing a modular flooring surface to allow different sports, such as lacrosse or futsal — a type of indoor soccer played on a hard court — to be played at the facility, Indermill said.
She added that the company also plans to change the name of the facility to the L.A. Kings Burbank Sports Complex and will paint the Kings logo at center court.
Should P.I.M. Inc. complete the first-year improvements before the start of the second year and city officials deem them acceptable, Indermill said the city will loan the company $26,200 to help pay for the rest of the improvements.
During the second year, the company is expected to renovate the player bench areas and, in the third year, will add a canopy system over the rink and install industrial fans to allow for use during the summer, as well as replace the exterior rink lighting.
In the fifth year of the agreement, P.I.M. Inc. is scheduled to replace the spectator benches, Indermill said.
P.I.M. Inc. will be responsible for maintenance and repairs of the facility, as well as its Internet service. Burbank would only be responsible for the maintenance of the exterior rink lights, Indermill said.
Along with the improvements, Indermill said the company will be required to develop a scholarship or subsidy program for players who cannot afford to pay the fees required to join a league.
The fate of the outdoor roller rink has been in question the past two years, after city staff learned that the business that manufactures the boards used at the facility would no longer be producing those specific boards and that replacements were no longer available.
Indermill said Dalessandro wasn't interested in replacing the rink flooring system and the city didn't have the funds to replace the rink itself. However, Dalessandro was able to obtain some used replacement boards to keep the rink operational.
Dalessandro, who had been in charge of the rink since 2009, said during the meeting he thinks he’s still the best operator for the facility and that he built the roller hockey program offered there from the ground up.
"We came in and there was nothing there for years — it was an empty lot," he said. "We built it up within two years and within the next five-year term you gave us, it's been at 100% capacity for four to five years."
Vice Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy commended Dalessandro for his time and efforts as the rink's operator the past eight years.
However, she said the new operator will help continue offering similar programs to the community while alleviating a financial burden the city could not address.
"Mr. Dalessandro's had ample opportunity to step forward and come up with a different alternative," Gabel-Luddy said. "I want to thank our current operator for all his years of service, but I think it's probably time to move on to something new."