Coun­cil puts arena site stud­ies on ice

Geo-tech­ni­cal prob­ing at po­ten­tial lo­ca­tions de­layed un­til at least sept. 5

North Bay Nugget - - NEWS - DAvE DAlE

Coun. daryl Vail­lan­court led the charge dur­ing the coun­cil meet­ing tues­day to de­lay geo-tech­ni­cal stud­ies on po­ten­tial sites for a West Fer­ris arena re­place­ment.

Vail­lan­court said he wanted to hold off on test drilling, specif­i­cally at the sam Jacks recre­ational Com­plex area, un­til staff can present a back­ground re­port to coun­cil sept. 5.

“the com­mu­nity is watch­ing this very, very closely … we need to shep­herd this through the pol­i­tics,” he said, not­ing it’s prob­a­bly the last big project for this coun­cil be­fore the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion in oc­to­ber 2018.

the cost of the pre­lim­i­nary work was set at $60,000 and in­cluded look­ing at land be­hind Memo­rial gar­dens (thom­son Park) and the steve omis­chl sports Fields Com­plex.

Coun­cil has been told the arena in West Fer­ris, with its wood truss­sup­port bar­rel roof, is reach­ing its end of life and should be re­placed by the fall of 2019.

But Coun. Mark King, chair­man of com­mu­nity ser­vices, said all Vail­lan­court re­ally achieved was los­ing a month of valu­able time, not­ing any build­ing this size is at least 18 months to com­plete.

and King said the work needs to be done so peo­ple will know what they’re con­sid­er­ing, as far as the ex­tent of site prepa­ra­tion and the as­so­ci­ated costs.

King said most of the dis­cus­sion so far has cen­tred on adding a pad or twin pads in thom­son Park or at omis­chl, with the West Fer­ris op­tion only re­cently men­tioned in the staff re­port given to coun­cil­lors prior to the meet­ing.

“un­for­tu­nately, we lost 30 days,” he said af­ter the meet­ing, not­ing “shep­herd­ing” the pol­i­tics isn’t the is­sue, get­ting hard data is the pri­or­ity.

King said he knows the thom­son Park area well af­ter grow­ing up near there, say­ing it will likely present chal­lenges be­cause it’s mostly filled-in swamp.

at omis­chl, on the other hand, there’s bedrock right be­side the rel­a­tively new com­plex with three ball fields, a nat­u­ral turf field and two ar­ti­fi­cial turf fields.

as for the sam Jacks com­plex in West Fer­ris, he said there’s po­ten­tial there along with lo­gis­ti­cal prob­lems with the ex­ist­ing build­ings and lim­its of prop­erty size.

Vail­lan­court, af­ter the meet­ing, said res­i­dents of West Fer­ris are “sen­si­tive” about their com­mu­nity centre, whether it’s some­thing leav­ing or com­ing in.

tim­ing is good for the staff re­port about the com­mu­nity’s need for ice pads and is­sues al­ready un­der­stood.

Coun. shel­don For­gette, deputy mayor and bud­get chief, has called for a spe­cial meet­ing of coun­cil sept. 7 to set out the tim­ing and tar­gets for 2018 bud­get de­lib­er­a­tions.


Leah Patey, 8, made her face paint­ing de­but at the Powas­san Farm­ers' Mar­ket last week. Here's she seen paint­ing a bee on Kathie Ho­gan's face.

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