Smithers Council tops up arena fund

Council moved to vote on a recommendation to approve the extension of $650,000 in borrowing funds from 2006.

During a committee of the whole meeting last week, Smithers Council carried several motions to bring the town closer to building a long awaited second arena.

“We’ve been working on this for 15 years and each time we get close they decide there’s another problem,” said Councillor Norm Adomit. “The problem is, we don’t have enough ice for the kids to skate on. We need more ice, so lets build more ice.”

Council first moved to vote on a recommendation to approve the extension of $650,000 in borrowing funds from 2006.

Although there was discussion to send the issue to a referendum, council ultimately approved the funds to bring the total available for the project to $3,655,658, sending a clear message council is dedicated to seeing this project completed soon.

The project is currently in the middle of a Ice Arena Schematic Design process to formalize the specifics of the construction of the project.

Council will also be approaching the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako to determine if there is interest in using Gas Tax Funds for the construction of a heat recovery unit that would use excess heat from the new arena to warm the BV Pool, as well as sharing the operating costs of the new facility with the Regional District.

During the meeting, Director of electoral area A, Stony Stoltenberg said he was ready to apply for a grant from UBCM that would be specific in covering the costs of the heat recovery system in the hopes of cutting heating costs for the pool which exceeded $65,000 in 2011.

After hearing the support from Stoltenberg council carried the motion unanimously.

However, during the discussion some councillors still felt there wasn’t enough money to build a full arena and community fundraising is key to seeing this project completed.

Al Mccreary, chair of the Second Sheet of Ice Committee, said mant residents in the past expressed interest in helping fund the project and the committee will take them up on their commitments.

“The next thing now is to sit down and make our list and approach people who’ve made commitments in the past that were waiting for council’s decision to endorse the project,” he said.

“Now that that’s taken place we now have the right to go back to individuals and corporations.”

For many residents a second sheet of ice has been a dream in the making for more than 15 years.

However, now with the town’s commitment to the arena and construction potentially beginning as early as March 2013, despite the fact the exact costs of the project are unknown, councillor Adomit is adamant these new commitments will get people behind the project and produce the extra funds needed.

“There’ve been a lot of people in town who have seen this project going and stopping, going and stopping,” Adomit said.

“Once they see it’s going to go, I think people will step up and start helping out.”


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

Just Posted

Smithers man leaves $1 million to children’s hospital

Jim Bolster wanted to help out children with health problems like his own

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

New ownership resurrects BV Taxi

The new owners expect to be taking fares by mid-August

Tahltan Nation closes hunting and recreational activity access points

The remote and vulnerable territory has limited medical capacity

Kinsmen plan to host scaled-down version of Telkwa BBQ

Club hoping to serve traditional Beef on a Bun and keep status of longest running event in B.C.

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Anonymous letters tell Vancouver Island family their kids are too loud

Letter said the noise of kids playing in Parksville backyard is ‘unbearable’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Most Read