Gas tax funds from area B approved for arena upgrades

Funding for new energy efficient upgrades at the Tom Forsyth Memorial Arena was approved last week.

Funding for new energy efficient upgrades at the Tom Forsyth Memorial Arena was approved last week.

The board of the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako (RDBN) approved a total of $54,948 from area B, Burns Lake rural gas tax funds to pay for the energy efficient upgrades which include new lighting and the installation of 17 motion sensor taps.

The replacement of inefficient lighting fixtures over the ice as well as replacing 150 fluorescent ballasts throughout the arena and the replacement of an exterior door is slated to consume the majority of the funding.

The 17 motion sensor taps and installation comes with a price tag of $16,000.

RDBN director of area B, Bill Miller said to the board of directors that he is fully supportive of the upgrades to the arena and made a recommendation that the board authorize the funds to be taken from area B’s gas tax allocation and granted to the Village of Burns Lake for the upgrades.

According to a report presented to the board from Corrine Swenson, RDBN’s strategic development analyst, uncommitted gas tax funds remaining in the area B account totaled $452,601 before the village was issued the funding.

The board did not discuss the recommendation other than to unanimously approve the funding be provided to the village.

Sheryl Worthing, village chief administrative officer said now that the funding has been approved, the upgrades at the arena will be competed by the fall of 2011.

She said that any contractors chosen to complete the upgrades will be based on a three quote system.

“It may not necessarily go to the lowest quote, but it is based on a range of criteria including if the contractor is local,” she said.

Worthing went on to say that receiving the area B gas tax funding will also help the village leverage more funding opportunities for future arena upgrades.

“Area B and the village are partners in the operation of the arena,” she added.