Groups having difficult time finding indoor facilities

Local clubs and groups are finding it harder to get a suitable location in Fort St. John.

Even the local farmers market will eventually be forced to move from the North Peace Arena. City Manager Diane Hunter announced at the Council meeting on Tuesday that the market has grown quite substantially, and it is running out of room to host all the vendors.

Right now, the City is working through the options with the members. The farmers market usually has 30 tables packed in the arena’s lobby on any given Saturday.

[asset|aid=1717|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=6162955491123bc286a6ac9c7599a3e0-Hunter – Farmers market 1_1_Pub.mp3]

The Fort St. John Fire Department expressed its concerns about the market’s location. The lobby is a fire exit to both the gymnastics club and the North Peace Leisure Pool.

Hunter says City Staff members have sat down with stakeholders from the Farmer’s Market, and discussed future locations like the Kids Arena. The group will be allowed to submit a proposal to utilize the vacant arena when it becomes available.

However, the group will be up against a number of others that are also vying for the same location.

Rory Chapple from the New Totem Archery Club is eyeing up the facility since he heard it will become vacant once the Enerplex opens in the fall. But, he says he’s been having a hard time finding any suitable location.

[asset|aid=1718|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=6162955491123bc286a6ac9c7599a3e0-Rory Chapple 1_3_Pub.mp3]

Now, Mayor Bruce Lantz says the Kid’s Arena still has to undergo an engineering study.

[asset|aid=1719|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=6162955491123bc286a6ac9c7599a3e0-Bruce 1_3_Pub.mp3]

Not all groups that apply will get to operate in the Kids Arena.

Hunter says even once the Enerplex opens, there will still be a demand for space. But she says there is a grants and aids process available through the city, to assist clubs with their expenses.