The opening of the gates in the new Smithers arena boards to the public is delayed again.

Arena opening delayed again

The opening of the second indoor ice surface in Smithers is delayed further after town council approved another extension last week.

The opening of the second indoor ice surface in Smithers is delayed further after town council approved another extension at last week’s council meeting.

C&M Development was given a month-long extension in August, bumping the completion date from the end of September to the end of October. A provision for a $500 per day fine was added to incentivize getting the project done by the new deadline. The need to relocate a condenser because of the location of a B.C. Hydro transformer was given as the reason for the initial delay.

Now C&M has been given until Dec. 1 to have the arena ready for use. The fine will not be implemented. The company told council that it expects the work to be done by the second week of November, but wanted the cushion just in case further delays arose.

Mayor Taylor Bachrach said the penalty clause now applies for any delay after Dec. 1. He described the two-month delay as reasonable, and touted the fact the project is still on budget.

“This is a big project obviously for our community, and council is very happy with how it’s gone so far. It’s gone remarkably smoothly, and I think we have what is going to be a great facility,” said Bachrach.

The mayor said there are no major issues with groups who had planned to use the facility, and no revenue is really being lost by the town.

“There’s no real operating costs either. And if you look at our current arena, it’s a subsidized operation,” explained Bachrach.