Grouardites will have to wait

An outdoor ice rink in Grouard will remain unusable for the current winter.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

An outdoor ice rink in Grouard will not be used until next winter.

Big Lakes County council again postponed a decision to repair the rink built last year by the Grouard Community Association.

At its regular meeting Jan. 9, council tabled a decision at the request of Grouard Councillor Fern Welch who was absent.

Council postponed a recommendation at its meeting Dec. 12 when Welch was also absent and requested she be present for discussion.

Now it appears the rink will have to wait longer.

“It’s going to be too late to repair it for this winter anyways,” Reeve Richard Simard says.

Welch plans to return to her seat at the next council meeting Jan. 23.

Administration recommends the county draft a new agreement with the GCA and repair the rink.

The county contacted the GCA which temporarily agreed to transfer ownership of the rink to the county, says a report from CAO Jordan Panasiuk.

County administration requires the GCA hold an election by Feb. 15 to elect a new board before the organization loses its society status.

“The GCA will hold an election to improve its capacity as an organization, ultimately improving its ability to provide regular recreation programming in the hamlet,” Panasiuk says.

If the GCA meets the criteria and grant funding requirements by Oct. 31, the county will enter a lease agreement for the old Grouard fire hall for the GCA to use.

If the GCA meets the criteria of the grant policy, the county will provide funding again.

The GCA also wants lighting to allow people to use the rink in the evenings, the report says.

Since the rink was placed on the wrong lots as defined in the agreement, the lot will be rezoned to parks and institutional from residential.

A public hearing will be required.

The rink also encroaches on an undeveloped county road.

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