That question comes after Prince George City Council decided to keep their arenas closed due to the cost of running them.
Quesnel Mayor Bob says the situation is different in the two communities…
“The Prince George City Council has full rights to make a decision over the status of their arenas and any of their rec facilities, their pools etc, because only the city of Prince George ratepayers pay for that. Here in the North Cariboo it’s a combined regional district and city function, so it’s determined by Joint Planing and means that our tax base is dispersed right through the regional district as well as the municipality.”
Simpson says the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee decided on a phased re-opening of its facilities…
“The plan that was presented to the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee prior to the summer was a staged re-opening for both ice rinks and for the pool. We knew when we approved that we were going to have to watch the user groups coming back into those facilities, and to balance the fee portion of our revenue with the taxpayer subsidy portion.”
Simpson says in the case of the rec centre they will have to look at things again in September to see if the fees that are coming in justify keeping a full compliment of staff, and full operating hours.
When it comes to the two arenas, he says they do have some time…
“Our staff are working with the arena user groups, because one of the issues with putting ice in is are the user groups going to use it ? Is there a demand for ice ? So that discussion is ongoing, but we have time because our normal time for putting ice back in would be in August anyway.”
Simpson says some of the sports groups have green lights already to proceed and some are negotiating, so they need to let that run its course.
Basically, he says if the demand is there they will put in the ice.