New arena project takes another step forward

Smithers council finally received the much anticipated geo-technical study for the planned construction of a second arena.

Smithers council finally received the much anticipated geo-technical study for the planned construction of a second arena.

The study, three months overdue, was presented to council last week in a Committee of the Whole meeting by chief geotech engineer, Dixie Simon.

Simon said the delay was due to laboratory testing taking longer than expected.

“I’m not quite sure why that was but the results were more than a month late,” Simon said.

“Then there was quite a lot of time spent finding information about the existing structures, which didn’t come up until after the report was due.”

The study, outlines the possible solutions for the new arena’s foundation.

Smithers has always had issues with foundations due to it’s soft soil base because it is built over a lake, Simon said

To ensure a solid foundation with the least impact on the existing arena and pool, Simon had to investigate the stability of the area and what method would fit the $4-million budget.

“The analysis was a bit tricky because we’re looking at a structure such as the existing arena with no knowledge of it’s foundation,” Simon explained.

The study recommends using a pre-load method of construction where a layer of gravel and dirt is put down and allowed to settle for six months before a concrete foundation can be poured.

The lateness of the study caused some frustration among the second sheet of ice committee because the time-line for the project is pushed back by six months.

If pre-loading is required, it should have been conducted this past fall to pour the foundation in the spring.

“I think we have to understand there’s a procedure to go through and the engineering report, the positive thing is the pre-load will work,” chair of the second sheet of ice committee, Al McCreary said.

Council also discussed the operating costs of the second arena and the possibility of the regional district, electoral A and Telkwa being contributors.

Initially the Town of Smithers and local contributions would make up one-third of the project funds and the remainder secured from the provincial and federal governments.

But the federal funding never came.

The B.C. government has contributed another $600,000 as well as the Aquilini family, owners of the Vancouver Canucks, contributed $250,000 in support of Danny Hamhuis.

To date $3.6 million has been secured for the project, with up to $300,000 to be raised, not to mention the undetermined operating costs of the facility.

Although a large portion of the arena users live outside of town boundaries, the idea of sharing operating costs is not well received.

“I can understand Smithers has some concerns about the operating costs of the new arena,” Stoney Stoltenberg said.

“But it’s still an added burden on the taxpayers because arenas are subsidized and Smithers would like to get some subsidy from the people who live in Electoral Area A to help offset the operating costs.”

Still Smithers Mayor, Taylor Bachrach was optimistic about the project going ahead as planned, after council approved a motion to go to the next phase of the project and issue a tender for construction in the new year.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Northern Health will start taking vaccination appointments for phase 2 rollout beginning March 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Northern Health phase 2 vaccine rollout starts Monday

Coast Mountain College announced as mass vaccination clinic for Smithers

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, prepares a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Almost two in three Canadians surveyed recently said they trust COVID-19 vaccines to be both safe and effective. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Northern Health to open 30 COVID vaccine clinics for oldest residents, Indigenous seniors

Health authority says it plans to vaccinate nearly 15,000 people in Phase Two

The Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary School in Hazelton is being shut down for a week by the Gitanmaax Band Council following a confirmation of a COVID-19 exposure there on Feb. 26. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Hazelton school COVID-19 closure extended one week

With spring break on horizon, Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary will be closed to end of March

BC CDC graphic showing weekly numbers of new cases by local health area.
Local health area records 11 new COVID-19 cases from Feb. 21 to 27

The Northwest has become the COVID hotspot in the province

The Smithers recycling depot was destroyed by fire May 9, 2019. (Thom Barker photo)
Curbside recycling pickup returns to Smithers

The Town will start collecting single stream, loose and clean residential recyclables April 12

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

Most Read