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posted March 18, 2008

March Rink Costs Math

Calculating the utility cost of keeping rinks open in March 2008

- This is background information for the flyer March Break Cost Booklet >> (pdf)

Who voted "yes" to limit the open rink to eight, who voted "no," don't put on any limits: vote results

To get an impression of the utility cost of extending the rink season for two weeks in March, we could use the Dufferin Rink February electricity costs from 2005. That would give us a two week cost of almost $3000. Natural gas costs would add another $1000 (guestimating from the Dufferin Grove “Energy Avoidance” chart).

That would mean $285 a day in energy costs, however this doesn’t factor in the cost of fuel for the zambonis.

A City of Toronto Freedom of Information response (Nov.2 2007) about the cost of running outdoor rinks came out to a similar amount for the electricity and gas:

Here the utilities cost works out to $4364 for two weeks when single-pad and double-pad outdoor rinks are averaged (this is presented as an estimate).

However this response adds another category or “other non-salary expenses,” which may include the considerable cost of fuel for zambonis and rink staff trucks: $2027 per two weeks, for a total utility/non-salary cost of $6391, or $456.50 for non-salary expenses a day. But that calculation averages smaller and larger rinks, so there would be variation for individual rinks. It also averages the weather.

Since the March sun requires the compressors to run most of the time, the CELOS utility cost assumes an average figure of $500 a day in non-salary costs for the 5 larger rinks ($500 x 14 days = $7000 per rink x 5 rinks = $35,000 for two weeks) and $288 a day for the 3 smaller ones ($288 x 14 days = $4032 per rink x 3 rinks = $12,096 for two weeks).

That would give a total non-salary cost of $47,096 for operating the eight extra rinks two weeks longer in March.

Calculating the wage cost of keeping rinks open in March:

The current hourly rate of a zamboni operators is $22.81 plus 24.5% benefits. That works out to $28.39 per hour. Assuming that each of the eight rinks needed 12 hours of a zamboni operator a day, that means 12 x $28.39 = $340 a day x 14 days = $4769 for two weeks per rink, x 8 rinks = $38,152 wage cost for zamboni operators for eight rinks.

Adding the cost of 12 hours per day of a rink guard ($10 an hour x 12 hours plus 155 benefits = $138 a day) for two weeks ($138 x 14 days = $1932 x 8 rinks = $15,456), means a total staffing cost of $53,608.

So according to CELOS, the extra two weeks with 8 rinks open cost $100,704.

If, however, City Council had decided to reopen all 49 rinks, this was CELOS’ calculation:

Operator cost per day for a double rink, or regular single pad “major” Etobicoke rink, or all North York rinks: 1 shift is $227 plus half-shift is $113 = $340

Operator cost per day for a single pad Etobicoke “minor” rink or downtown regular single rink: $170

B.A. or rink guard: $138 (12 hours)

Cost for a double rink per day: $978 x 14 days = $13,692 per March season x 14 rinks = $191,688.

Cost for a “major” Etobicoke rink or NY single pad per day: $766 x 14 days = $10,724 per March season x 13 rinks = $139,412 for March

Average cost for a single pad “minor” Etobicoke rink or regular single rink downtown per day: $596 x 14 days = $8,344 per March season x 22 rinks = $183,568 for March

CELOS calculation of total additional cost to keep all outdoor rinks open to the end of March break = $514,668

Total cost of closed time when there’s high sun, rain, warm weather etc. in March (if 25%) = $128,667

This is lower than the City’s own estimates based on their Freedom of Information response of Nov.7 2007. That response gives the operating cost of one rink as $88,877 per three-month season (or $7406 per rink per week). By that calculation, 49 rinks would cost $4,353,973 for a three-month season, or $7406 per day (assuming a 12-week season).

So by the city’s calculation, keeping all 49 rinks open an extra two weeks to the end of March break would have cost an extra $725,829 ($7406 x 2 weeks = $14,812 per two weeks x 49 = $725,829).

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Content last modified on March 19, 2008, at 02:27 PM EST