The City of Kimberley wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars on arena assessments following the deaths of three men in Fernie.
The City plans to hire a professional to study the condition of the Marysville Arena and Civic Centre and create a priority list of needed improvements.
$1.2 million dollars is budgeted in Kimberley’s 2018 Capital Plan to replace arena boards, concrete slab and brine lines.
However, little is know about the state of the brine lines, the likelihood of failure or the urgency of repairs.
City Council voted Monday night to apply for upwards of $50,000 in funding to cover the assessment.
Kimberley hopes to tap the Province for $40,000 and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for $10,000.
Mayor Don McCormick says in the wake of the tragedy in Fernie the operations of facilities containing hazardous materials have come front and centre for municipalities.
A suspected ammonia leak killed two Fernie city employees and a contractor at their local arena October 17th.
Since it’s unknown how urgent certain repairs may be needed, McCormick says the priority list will identify what projects should be addressed first and enable Council to make informed decisions moving forward.
He adds on top of safety, the two local arenas are extremely important facilities to the community and the City needs to stay on top of maintenance to avoid any unexpected long-term closures.
Fernie’s Memorial Arena has been closed for 11 weeks now and several teams and groups, including the KIJHL’s Fernie Ghostriders hockey team, have been forced to travel neighbouring communities for ice times.
The Mayor suggests Council should know if they’ve been successful with their grant applications in the coming weeks, but any work would not start in the short term.
– Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick