Mullens says no definite reopening date for SC ice arena

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mayor Frank Mullens says there’s no firm reopening date for the city’s Memorial Ice Arena at Trace Fork.

Mullens said it’s a case of finances.

Necessary repairs were made to the arena earlier this year but now, because of the pandemic, there’s not enough money in the city budget to reopen it.

Mullens said South Charleston is known for its great recreational opportunities but the financial impact of the pandemic has caused other priorities to get more attention.

“Right now our focus obviously is police, fire, garbage collection, sanitary sewer, those things have to come first,” Mullens said during a Thursday appearance on 580-Live on 580-WCHS. “We need to make sure we have the money on hand to meet payroll, to meet the expenses of those essential services that we provide.”

Mullens said the Memorial Ice Arena is heavily subsidized with city funds and the facility is expensive to operate.

“Once we make that ice we’ve got to get the temperature down to 50 degrees or below inside and that’s very expensive utility-wise to do that. That’s one of our challenges,” Mullens said.

South Charleston has reopened is health club at the Community Center. Little Creek Golf Course has also been open and operating.