The city is putting a stop to operations at Sk8te Hollinger for the time being.

They put up a motion during Tuesday’s budget meeting that “all work in the Hollinger Park with respect to the Skate 8 project cease immediately unless approved by the CAO Dave Landers or his designate.”

Landers confirmed a site plan agreement has been sent to them by Pye and they’ll look to reach an interim agreement.

“We absolutely have to manage the activity that is happening on the site because it is a city site, and it is a city project,” he told council.

The vote passed unanimously, though Councillor Rick Dubeau was not in attendance for the vote.

Mayor Steve Black says this stems from concerns expressed by city staff.

“We had given permission to do some of the prep work,” he said, “But obviously, its getting ramped up into almost full gear.”

Ken Pye, the operator of Sk8te Hollinger, tells Rogers Media the late addition to the agenda caught him by surprise.

“I’ve been dealing with city officials continuously,” he said.

“I’m not doing anything different than I did the last two years. It’s the exact same equipment I had each winter. Exact same light poles, wiring, nothing I haven’t done before.”

Pye says he’s posting updates on Facebook on a daily basis to be as transparent as possible. He estimates he puts in about 2,000 man hours into the work and the rest is volunteer support, which he looks for via Facebook.

“(The city knows) what I’m doing, we’ve got a permit for everything,” he said.

Back on October 24th, Pye made a request for $115-thousand dollars in support from the city but council has yet to decide just how much support they’ll provide for the 2018 rinks.

However, it was decided by a council vote that night that Pye—who said he’ll carry on with his proposed plans anyway, with or without city funding—could begin prepping the site.

As for what comes next, Pye says they’ve had plans for at least a week to visit with the Timmins Economic Development Corporation to work out how to turn the venture into a non-profit organization.

Pye and his associate will be at the TEDC later this morning.

Skate Hollinger received no funding the first time out back in 2015. Last year, the venture received just over $32-thousand dollars in city support.

We’ll have more on this story as it develops.

CLICK HERE to see the council discussion from Tuesday night, under Item 3H.

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