The North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee will make a couple of funding applications to the Provincial Government’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program, one for each arena in Quesnel.

One, that seemed to be the preferred choice of Quesnel City Council, is a 200 thousand dollar request for event flooring and storage for the West Fraser Centre.

Councillor Mitch Vik…

“An idea or a concept that I’ve talked about a few times is the event flooring and storage for West Fraser Centre.   I think we’ve all discussed the importance of making sure that that arena not only gets used by our local groups for ice hockey and skating activities but also to try and diversify it’s use a little bit more, and I think hosting concerts and large events like that certainly falls within that.”

Councillor Ron Paull felt that it was some unfinished business…

“I think the event flooring was something that was kind of expected with the West Fraser Centre, een though it was said at the time that it would come later.   I think It’s a promise that needs to be fulfilled.”

There was some concern expressed that COVID would prevent concerts and events, but Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg noted that the projects can be completed by March 31st of 2023 under this program.

The other funding application, which seemed to be the preference of the northern Cariboo Regional District Directors, was for 210 thousand dollars for a compressor/header project for arena two…

Mary Sjostrom is the CRD Director for Area A…

“For me, and the conversation will come up next with the budget and the implications that we’re faced with, I would sooner see us do something that’s in capital that would help us and that would be the compressor header project providing that it is 100 percent, and hopefully it’s very close to 100 percent, and that we don’t have to use any of our capital costs.    That would just leave a little more of gas tax for something else that we would require, because I am very conscious about the upcoming budget and what the requests are there.”

 

Both the City and the CRD do have another application into this program, but each is allowed two.

The City has an application in for the proposed RV Campground which is part of the city’s Waterfront plan, while the CRD has an application in for some work at the Anahim Lake Airport, in addition to two joint applications.

Darren Campbell is the Manager of Community Services with the CRD…

“Two of those are intended to be partnerships with Mountain Resorts, that’s one of the eligible criteria in the programs so we were looking at developing applications with Mount Timothy and Troll resort to see if they are interested in projects.   They’re required to have the Regional District as a partner in those applications.   Mountain Resorts don’t count against the two.”

The decision to make the applications was unanimous, but the CRD application still has to be approved by the entire Board, and Director Sjostrom didn’t sound sold on the outcome…

“I’m certainly leaning more to not submitting on behalf of the Regional District because we already have three, even though the two are not classed as this.    I would just like to see those successful, so I guess we’ll have a discussion and whatever the outcome because I always hate trumping ones that are already in there, and work has been prepared so I think as long as we get one that would be good.”

The deadline to make an application is October 29th.

Staff laid out five potential projects for this funding program in total.

The others, that were not chosen, were for a Bike Park and ARC Trails Revitalization, for the Wonderland Trail Network Phase 2, and the Wonderland to Hallis Lake Connecting Trail.