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Photo: Council has passed a motion to have the Kid’s Arena used as a Field House for dry sports./ Christine Rumleskie

City Council has passed a motion to maintain care and control of the Kid’s Arena to use for various dry sports that could include soccer, archery, bocce ball and gymnastics among others.

With people in the seats wearing soccer jerseys, the president of the Fort St. John Soccer Club, gave an impromptu presentation to Council, Monday.

Wes McNutt placed two of the three trophies that teams from the club won at the Alberta Soccer Association provincials before him on the table while he discussed his dissatisfaction with how Council has been dealing with the Kid’s Arena.

McNutt says the teams won through hard work and no assistance from the city.

He says he feels as if the club has been misled.

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McNutt says he is unhappy that the city has decided to maintain control of the facility and has not yet begun construction on the building

Photo: Wes McNutt explains to Council how his club has had space constraints and had been hoping to use the Kid’s Arena for the upcoming indoor season./Kimberley Molina

The soccer club has already been wanting for space during the winter and had hoped the arena would have been available to them for the upcoming season, since the club already had to restrict registration last year due to space constraints.

Dianne Hunter, the city manager, says the city has had to go through various steps to ensure that the building would be able to be continued to be used, for how long, and then to determine what types of activities could be used within the building.

She says now that Council has decided what to use the building for, the next step will be for staff to determine how much money would be required to renovate the building and alter it from an ice facility to a dry sport facility. Then, that amount will have to be approved for the 2011 budget and a tender will be put out for contractors to do the work.

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She added that groups should see the decision as a beneficial move since many different groups will be able to use the facility and will not have to take over renovation costs on their own.

However, she does admit the steps take time and it can still be awhile before the building will be available for use by the different sports groups.

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