Redford Township — In May, Redford Township officials voted to get out of the ice rink operation business by contracting with Family Entertainment Properties. The contract began in June and is expected to save Redford money while improving services.
According to the Detroit News, the ice arena had been expected to lose $70,000 in fiscal 2005. By contrast, under the new contract, the arena is expected to generate $30,000 in annual profit for the township. Family Entertainment Properties is also expected to make needed capital investments and to provide more services.
Michigan Privatization Report has long followed municipal recreation and recreation privatization in the state, recommending privatization of nonessential municipal services — such as golf, wave pools, and ice arenas. In 1999 the Mackinac Center dedicated an entire issue to privatization of government recreational facilities. Entitled, "Entertaining Privatization" the issue addressed everything from park, zoo, and state fair privatization to ending public subsidies for professional sports stadiums and the arts. The issue can be accessed on the World Wide Web at: www.mackinac.org/1849.