There is no definite timeline yet to replace Vernon’s Civic Arena.

Arena replacement plan on thin ice

Regional District of North Okanagan has abandoned plans for a Nov. 15 borrowing referendum on a replacement ice sheet

Minor hockey parents and players hope Civic Arena can outlast a bureaucratic log jam.

The Regional District of North Okanagan has abandoned plans for a Nov. 15 borrowing referendum on a replacement ice sheet for Civic Arena because there wasn’t sufficient time for the legal process.

“We won’t be able to provide the current level of service without Civic Arena,” said Richard Frater, Greater Vernon Minor Hockey Association president.

“If Civic becomes not operational, we won’t be able to do that.”

Civic Arena is 77 years old and there is a concern major capital issues could lead to the facility suddenly not being available for ice users.

RDNO has not received the required provincial approval needed to move the service establishment and loan authorization bylaws to referendum.

“The province has raised the concern about RDNO having a referendum and borrowing for a capital expansion of a facility owned by the City of Vernon,” said David Sewell, chief administrative officer.

The regional district had proposed borrowing up to $13 million for a 400-seat, NHL-sized ice sheet at the north end of Kal Tire Place.

“There will have to be another direction. We need a process to replace Civic Arena before it fails catastrophically,” said director Rob Sawatzky, adding that one option is possibly having a spring referendum.

Sawatzky isn’t concerned that Nov. 15’s civic election could lead to a new group of politicians who delay the process further.

“The reports and facts speak for themselves. No political stance will replace the fact that Civic Arena has become too expensive to operate and could fail,” he said.

Discussions about process could occur at the next Greater Vernon Advisory Committee session.

“There will be options presented at GVAC on what the next steps are. We believe the proposal still has merit,” said Juliette Cunningham, GVAC chairperson.

While officials determine what to do, Frater insists the needs of minor hockey must be a priority.

“I’m hoping they (GVAC) will come up with a plan to tackle the issue,” he said.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Museum digs up history for ’60s Vernon Winter Carnival

Get Groovin’ with the Grandkids or flashback to the ’60s with tunes, trivia and costumes

City of Enderby apologizes for cemetery damages

‘Very disrespectful’: Headstones at Enderby cemetery damaged by excavation crew

Two-month-old Kelowna boy diagnosed with rare heart disorder returns home from treatment

Arel spent two weeks at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver after suffering multiple cardiac arrests

Stop 5G in Vernon, environment group says

A moratorium was requested by local environment group

Vernon Community Champion: respect works here

‘It takes a special place to be home to a global culture…’

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Shuswap man given six months jail time for possession of child pornography

Forty-six-year-old will be on National Sex Offender Registry for 20 years

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Power outage at Big White

It’s unknown why the power went out Tuesday afternoon

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Most Read