Decision reached!

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The Smoky River Ryders will be given a chance to use the H.W. Fish Arena in McLennan, fondly know as The Fish Tank.
McLennan town council decided at its Nov. 14 meeting from four proposals received.
Mayor Jason Doris spoke on behalf of council.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that the Smoky River Ryders best suit what we want to see,” he said at the meeting.
He added council now negotiates a contract with Smoky River Ryders to sign.
Members of Smoky River Ryders were in the gallery when the decision was made.
It was a long and difficult process for council to endure, making every effort to see the arena used. It is the third winter the arena has not installed ice due to lack of usage and mounting operational deficits council could not afford.
After the meeting, CEO Lorraine Willier provided information on the four bids by email.
“Four proposals were received: Smoky River Ryders, Terry Calliou, Sucker Creek First Nation, and Michele Fournier and Darlene Bruneau submitted one together,” wrote Willier.
“The Smoky River Ryders proposed to be the liaison between the Town (of McLennan) and the renter. This was the one council seen as the lowest risk. . .they will negotiate a one-year agreement with them and then re-evaluate in a year’s time.”
Other proposals were as follows:

  • Sucker Creek’s proposal was to use the facility year-round as a multi sport facility;
  • Terry Calliou proposed to establish a committee/board of five community members to oversee the entire facility along with a facility manager and to use the facility year-round;
  • Michele Fournier and Darlene Bruneau proposed to create a marketplace for multiple businesses.
    Willier added Smoky River Ryders is an established group that council knows has the volunteer base and is capable of hosting large events.
    “This summer they hosted the Show n’ Shine at the arena, which was well attended. They propose to manage the facility and to be the liaison between the Town and the renter. They would try and generate an interest and host events and pay the applicable fees to rent the facility.”
    Council even discussed selling the building at one time if a buyer could be found.

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