The North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee has agreed to use Gas Tax funds to provide the Quesnel Curling Centre with money to solve its refrigeration issue.
At a public meeting on Tuesday (Nov. 26), the group, which is made up of Cariboo Regional District (CRD) and City of Quesnel representatives, recommended the City and CRD use Community Work Funds, a federal grant commonly called Gas Tax, to pay for a new refrigeration system.
The recommendation is for the CRD to give $140,000 and the City to give $60,000, leaving the Quesnel Curling Club to pay the remaining $25,000 to $30,000.
The decision still has to be ratified by the CRD board and Quesnel council in upcoming meetings.
While the Quesnel Curling Club had asked to be brought into the North Cariboo Regional Sub-Recreation fold, all parties involved decided this was a quicker way to solve the urgent issue at hand.
“In order to provide funding under North Cariboo Recreation and Parks, we would have had to own the building,” says Jeff Norburn, the City of Quesnel’s director of community services. “They found a way to provide funding without having to do that, through Gas Tax funding, which is not regional taxpayer property tax money.
“That request is still out there, but rather than having an event-driven decision in place of what should be a more thoughtful decision, we deferred it.”
Norburn says they are still in discussion with the curling club and have made a motion to include the consideration for bringing the curling centre into the North Cariboo Recreation and Parks function as a business plan goal for 2020.
“It’s still an active request that’s out there, but it wasn’t necessary to deal with it in such a rushed way.”
In this case, the curling club was able to solve its problem quickly, and the local governments have an opportunity to take their time to decide upon the best way to bring the curling centre into the fold.
A failure of the Quesnel Curling Centre’s ice plant at the beginning of the season started a frantic search for funds to get the rink up and running.
The plant was purchased and installed in 1966 and has all but given up working.
While a band-aid solution has been used to allow for play, the club feels it is only a matter of time before it gives up and the club’s 300 member have no place to curl.