Penticton's arena vision gets financial boost with $6 million grant

Penticton's vision for the future of its arenas was given a shot in the arm today with announcement of a $6 million federal grant towards the construction of two new ice sheets on events centre property.

PENTICTON - Future plans for the city’s arenas advanced today with the approval of a federal grant.

A $6 million Gas Tax Fund grant the city applied for last year was approved, the City of Penticton announced today, March 9, in a press release.

Grant approval is conditional on all funding sources required for the completion of the approved project being secured by March 31, 2019.

The grant application was made in support of a vision resulting from recommendations of the arena task force for a new, twin-surface, multi-use ice facility on the South Okanagan Events Centre property, along with the renewal of Memorial Arena as a dry floor facility.

The arena task force was created in 2017 to find a new way forward for the city’s arenas, which are aging and in need of significant investment.

The task force studied the city’s future arena needs, potential costs, existing building conditions, lifecycle costs, funding options and community feedback before making a recommendation to council, which was endorsed last summer.

“Funding is one of several requirements that need to be in place before Council makes a final decision. There are still many unanswered questions with respect to costs and parking that the City will work to address with the community. We are very pleased with the generous support from (the Union of B.C. Municipalities) and the federal government. This grant is a great vote of confidence in the vision that we hope will ignite further support from the community,”  Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit says in the release.

City staff continue to work on a business case for the vision, which will provide more information on financial and operating requirements of the proposed facility.

It is expected the business case will wrap up before summer.

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