There’s hope still for Port Alice’s Doug Bondue Arena

Natalie Stewart, Port Alice Arena Society expect to reach $75,000 by the end of this year.

The Village of Port Alice may see the reopening of the Doug Bondue Arena soon.

Natalie Stewart, president of the Port Alice Arena Society, sent a request to mayor and council asking for a letter of support to help open the arena.

At this time, no grant funding has been applied for yet, but “there are a few opportunities for funding,” the letter reads. “We would like council’s support in applying for these funds. The applications will be completed and submitted by the society, but we’d like to add a letter of support.”

Stewart expects the society to reach its fundraising goal of $75,000 by the end of this year. She also expects to reach $150,000 in total by the end of the 2018/2019 season. If the society can reach $100,000 before October, the village will reopen the arena.

During the discussion, acting Chief Administrative Officer/Finance Officer Bonnie Danyk recommended the society reach $100,000 before council would be willing to open the arena. According to the CAO, there are Worksafe BC and Technical Safety BC concerns that have to be dealt with before the village can open the arena.

The society intends to provide all the funds to reopen the arena while the village works on the concerns. The funds to reopen the arena will include remedial funds, as the village has no money to contribute to the arena unless Neucel pays its taxes.

“Some of the money has to include capital costs, so we would like (help) in obtaining information for some of the improvements that could be made if the funding is granted,” reads the letter. “This funding opportunity is 100 per cent funding so no financial commitment would have to be made by the village … The arena is important to so many of the families in town for us to stand by not making an effort to operate without a facility.”

The Port Alice preschool, Lions Club, Oldtimers hockey, dry graduation, Port Alice minor hockey, and other groups depend heavily on the arena to keep up the level of services these groups provide to the village.

Mayor and council decided to go ahead with a letter of support and passed a motion by the end of the discussion.

The village has made no financial commitment to the society.

Stewart was not available for a comment as of presstime.

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