JPA grants $2 million in funding for Breslow Ice Center

By: Lauren Fabrizi

Some may call Wednesday a victory for the West Haymarket Joint Public Agency.

After considering the issue for quite some time, the members approved $2 million in funding to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln for a portion of the Breslow Ice Center construction.

“Over the past month, we've really worked hard to say we're satisfied from a fiduciary standpoint,” Tim Clare of the NU Board of Regents said.

The Breslow Ice Center would be built between the Pinnacle Bank Arena and Haymarket Park. Clare said the $2 million in JPA funding would be taken out of the $14 million dollars in arena contingency funds.

There was an opportunity for public comment at the meeting. Some said the JPA didn't have the authority to grant that funding.

Jane Kinsey of the Watchdogs of Lincoln Government said it's an improper use of funds.

“You're going to give money when the university hasn't approved it,” Kinsey said.

That's partly true- the UNL Business Affairs Committee has approved the ice center. It now lies in the hands of the Board of Regents. But if they don't approve it, then the JPA will no longer fund the $2 million.

Clare said the JPA's funding is all contingent upon a number of things, including an operating agreement between UNL and the city of Lincoln.

It will decide when UNL students will be able to use the facility, and when the public can. Clare said all that and more will be answered in the agreement.

“I'm confident after today that they will come together and realize this is a community facility by UNL and by the public,” Clare said.

The Board of Regents will meet on March 21. They'll vote whether to go forward with the construction of the ice center.