Local business owner worried about city rental policy

Photo: This stage, along with a sign in the window that reads, "7 to 1, the City wins", is displayed in front of Systems by Trail, on 100th Street – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca

A local business owner is worried he will lose customers, if the City agrees to rent event equipment for free.

The policy would allow not-for-profit organizations to rent out equipment. However, owner of Systems by Trail, Trail LeClerc, says he will still lose a significant amount of business.

At the City Council meeting on Monday, Councilor Larry Evans said organizations need somewhere to rent equipment.

He says the equipment has already been paid for by taxpayers, and if the city doesn’t loan it out, it could lose some of its clubs and organizations.

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However, in a telephone interview on Friday, LeClerc says his company can’t compete with the city, giving breaks to non-profit groups.

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Another issue Council brought up was the size of the stages Systems by Trail can provide. Evans says some events require larger stages, and rent from Council for that reason.

But LeClerc says he could easily get larger stages from areas outside of Fort St. John.

At the Council meeting, he recommended the City should get out of the business and sublet the equipment out to another agency.

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Councilors say they are not trying to compete with local businesses, but rather provide equipment to groups that are trying to help the community.

LeClerc says he doesn’t feel Councilors adequately listened to his recommendations.

He says he still feels ‘fired up’ about the meeting, and he will keep pushing for this recommendation to go through.

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