Kimberley City Council has approved the expenditure of $350,000 in the 2014 budget to pay for the ice plant upgrade for Marysville Arena. Council Chambers was packed with some 50 people waiting to see how Council would vote on the matter. Kimberley Minor Hockey and the North Star Figure Skating Club both sent delegations to argue for keeping the arena operating, as well as presenting a petition with 1600 plus signatures.
It was an impassioned debate with several Councillors bemoaning the fact that an important decision was being made without the help of a full infrastructure service review, which would prioritize capital projects.
Coun. Albert Hoglund spoke in favour of the upgrade, Councillors Don McCormick and Darryl Oakley argued for defeating the motion and finding a way to go forward with user groups and partners to raise the necessary funds.
Coun. Bev Middlebrook, Kent Goodwin and Jack Ratcliffe all spoke of disliking the way the entire process had been carried out, but voted to go ahead with the upgrade.
While reiterating his support for the motion, Mayor Ron McRae said he was extremely disappointed in all of Council with respect to this situation.
“I am extremely disappointed in Councillors McCormick and Oakley for making this a political issue. Seeing open letters in the newspaper from a Councillor regarding infrastructure is unacceptable. Councillors must have their facts straight before they go to the public.
Watch for much more on this website and in Thursday’s Bulletin.