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RDCK mulls paying for Castlegar arena floor repairs

The tender closes Wednesday for upgrades to the arena floor at the Castlegar and District Community Complex.

But the recreation commission is still thinking about how it will finance the $1.65-million project, expected to begin in mid-March and take until October to complete.

Chair Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff said they could pay for the project based on a combination of grants, tax increases, user fees, or borrowing.

“We’ll come up with what we think is the best and least painful for our taxpayers,” she said.

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Details are expected to be hashed out at a budget meeting next week. The RDCK has applied for one grant but hasn’t heard back and isn’t counting on it.

The project was announced last year due to brine leaks that are believed to be a sign of the floor’s age. It was installed when the facility was built in 1976 and the RDCK says it has outperformed its original life expectancy of 35 to 40 years.

While Heaton-Sherstobitoff said the timing of the project was meant to have the least inconvenience to arena users, it will still have an impact.

The Castlegar Rebels are out of the playoffs, so it won’t affect the end of this season, but it will bite into the start of next season.

The West Kootenay Minor Lacrosse Association will also need to make other arrangements.

But Heaton-Sherstobitoff said there is no getting around the project.

“It just needs to be replaced. You can’t have continual leaks. It’s a well-used ice surface, so we need to repair it. With any capital [asset] you need to keep renewing it and putting money into it. It just needs to get done.”

(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story erroneously said the tender closes Tuesday.)

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