by GOAT STAFF
Winter is fast approaching, but it’s the hockey arena’s ice that may get here first.
Donna Munt, general manager of Community Services for the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, says the facilities opened again this week on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
“As far as skating, it’ll depend on ice making,” she says. “We’re expecting it to be between Oct. 2 and Oct. 9, but that isn’t confirmed yet.”
Hours or days of operation have not been announced, according to the district.
In previous years the facilities were open seven days a week over the winter months — making the facilities far more accessible than the five days a week the facilities were open from May through July.
To add to user’s inconvenience, the facilities were closed for the entire month of August for the first time in five years.
Chief Administrative Officer for the RDFFG, Jim Martin, told The Goat in August that the district had been gauging usage and determined there wasn’t enough demand over the summer.
In order to keep the facilities open, Martin said they have to staff a minimum number of employees to meet occupational health and safety standards.
Back in July, the Facilities Manager, Lyle Lewis, told The Goat that the hours of the gyms in McBride and Valemount are based around usage and budget, but — despite having a smaller population — the McBride facility has far more funding than Valemount.
He attributed the additional funding in McBride to added staff responsibility, as the McBride staff has to take care of the arena, fitness centre, curling rink and community hall.
A one-month membership at the Canoe Valley Rec Centre for an adult goes for $32.45, while three months goes for $77.45.
The RDFFG staff and fund the facilities, and the district is expecting to spend over $1.1M combined on the two arenas’ operations this year.
The proposed 2016 operating budget for the Canoe Valley Rec Centre is $486,300, while the Robson Valley Rec Centre is expected to come in at $633,850.