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October 28, 2017 1:45 am

Horses and Housing on Council Agenda

Monday, November 2, 2015 @ 3:59 AM

city-hallPrince George, B.C.- The Prince George Horse Society  is  hoping City Council will give them a break.

Facing increased costs and upgrades to aging  buildings,  the Society   will be calling on Prince George City Council to “forgive” the monthly  utility bill.   The boost in utility  rates for the Society is one of the financial challenges facing the Society which has  been operating at the  Agriplex in Prince George for the  past two decades.  Other  financial pressures  have come from a 400% increase in the cost of  wood shavings for bedding,  and   a looming roof repair.

The Society says it has boosted  its rates by 15%  and while it is seeking other revenue streams ( gaming grants are among the possibilities)  a break in  the utility  rates would  give them some breathing room.

Also on the agenda  for this evening,  a request that Council support  an application to the UBCM for an  Age Friendly Grant of $20 thousand dollars. The money would be  used to hire a consultant to  develop an “Age Friendly Action Plan” for Prince George.  The plan  would be aligned with the 8 pillars of the Province’s  Age Friendly  Initiative , namely:

1. Outdoor Spaces and Buildings 2. Transportation (including traffic safety) 3. Housing 4. Respect and Inclusion
5. Social Participation 6. Communications and Information 7. Civic Participation and Employment 8. Community Support and Health Services

There is one informal public hearing this evening,  which has Telus asking  for a variance of the sign  bylaw so they can replace the large sign on the  east side of its seven storey building downtown with another  oversized banner.

Council will also be asked to grant first two readings to a  rezoning application  for  a property  at the corner of Peter Road and Chief Lake Road to allow for an eleven lot subdivision.  First two readings are necessary  to send the  application to a public hearing.


WTF? Forgive their monthly utility bill? Why do horse people always seem to think they’re so special?

How about giving the seniors the option of opting out from paying their utility bill? Makes more horse sense!

Owning a horse is a luxury item.. It’s a hobby, If you can’t afford it, sell it.

Umm…basically the PG Horse Society is asking for the taxpayers to sudsidize their boarding fees? Are they serious? Any true horse lover would/should first cringe at keeping their animal caged within those tiny corrals all the time. Nowhere to run, nowhere to graze. There are a wealth of acreages and hobby ranches around town that they could make these animals comfortable at. The other issue is the noise and constant functions going on at CN centre. No peace and quiet for them. Myself, I think it is cruel to keep them there all the time, confined as they are. I hope Council turns down the application. The society would be wise to investigate a better, larger area in a more rural setting and relocate. For that, I could forsee some help from council being justified.

Posted on Monday, November 2, 2015 @ 6:35 AM by oldman1 with a score of 11

How about giving the seniors the option of opting out from paying their utility bill? Makes more horse sense!


Perhaps the horses vote more then our seniors?

Maybe give them a one year break so they have time to figure out a permanent solution. Someone is always subsidizing someone else. One example is owned homes getting a tax break and rental units not getting a tax break so are renters subsidizing home owners since presumably rents would have to cover the full tax charged for the rental? (and if you are a senior home owner you get an even bigger tax break so younger people and senior renters subsidize them even more?)

Hartly… the big difference is that people need a place to live.. people dont need horses unless they live on a ranch etc.

I agree with watchdog, keeping a horse in those “stables” is cruel.

Sorry for the horse owners who find themselves in this predicament, but why would they expect the taxpayers to subsidize their hobby?
What common good is being accomplished?

It is a convenience to those who want a horse but cannot or will not live on acreage that can accommodate livestock.

Horses are healthier and happier when they have room to run, and freedom to graze. The horses at the exhibition grounds are caged pets, kept for their owners’ enjoyment and again, convenience.

So if I understand most of you correctly, you believe the horse owners should pay 100% of the costs of running and maintaining a city owned facility.

Do you feel the same about the hockey rinks. No one has to play hockey, it really has become a rich man’s sport, should hockey fees be increased to cover 100% of the costs.

How about the fitness center at the university. Should the city keep subsidizing it to the benefit of a bunch of students who don’t even pay taxes.

How about the Pine Valley golf course?

How about the Multiplex, swimming pool. Otway Nordic Centre. Hart Ski Hill.

We’ve got a city with diverse amount of activities, all subsidized somewhat by the Prince George taxpayer, and so while the horse person maybe never uses an ice rink, but subsidizes hockey, the same happens in reverse.

It’s called being a community, and a community with diverse activities has a better chance of attracting professionals such as doctors, nurses, and specialists vs one that has nothing.

Something missing in this story, is the Horse Society has also been tasked with bringing the facility up to snuff to help with the Summer Games bid, because equestrian events are part of the summer games. Some of the biggest rah rah supporter of the Winter Games on this site should be all for this.

I am with ski51 on this issue.

Perhaps we can have more fun with this and have a complete accounting of how much each recreation facility in the City, whether private or publicly owned, receives from the taxpayers as a “subsidy”.

I could just see the posts on here about which facility is most deserving, or whether ALL subsidies be removed.

Bringing up these single issues throughout the year is not the best way to handle this. Provide a budget for such situations and let an administrative panel make decisions.

Council has better things to do. This is a housekeeping/operational issue, not a policy setting issue.

Good points by ski51.
The comparison to rec. hockey is especially on point.
Now I don’t know what to think, except for the fact that horses should not spend their time in small outdoor paddocks.

I agree that horses should have more room to run.
But having said that, didn’t the city give tax breaks to golf courses?

It’s all about economies of scale. Subsidizing the arenas benefits hundreds, if not thousands of people. Same with the swimming pools, gold courses, ski runs, etc. Plus, the benefits of exercise are well documented as are the tax savings. We need to encourage more people to take advantage of our rinks, pools, golf courses, etc.

How many people board their horses? 50? What’s the benefit to the rest of the community to support their hobby?

How many people swim, play soccer, play hockey and have a horse boarded at the grounds.

I support the idea that, hockey rinks, swimming pools, libraries, soccer fields need to be subsidized, because of the fact that it services a large number of the population in Prince George. Horse owners, if you can not afford to cage up your pet in a publicly funded facilities, go see a horse lover in the country and see how much they charge.

Makes you wonder if councilors read this blog before they make a decision. If I was, I definitely will read it, and make sure it is the right decision.

Perhaps those of you who think boarding horses at the PG agriplex is cruel…should take a moment to meet the horse owners and “enlighten” yourselves. Over 70 percent of the boarders there own property and board their horses through the winter months at the agriplex. This is to keep their horses fit through the winter and remain involved in their disciplines of choice. Many of the horses are hauled out on a regular basis for pasture time during the winter season. The NFACC Equine Code of Practice is strictly adhered to at the Pronce George Agriplex. So please…before you spout off about how cruel it is to board a horse at the PG Agriplex, at least get your facts straight.

It’s quite amusing how many of the commenters have referred to owning and riding horses as a “hobby”. Have any of you actually ridden or taken care of a horse? And I’m not just talking about going on a trail ride. Many of the boarders and arena users are competitive, they train and compete year round in their discipline of choice. And yes, equestrianism is a sport like the other recreational activities in town (hockey, golf, swimming, soccer, etc). The arena run by the PG Horse Society also has users aside from the boarders, there are people who regularly haul in from the rural areas in PG, user groups rent it to hold events like gymkhanas, horse shows, jump days, penning, roping, %days,therapeutic riding, etc. Many of the “horse lovers in the country” actually do use the arena if not board there in the winter to kee themselves and their horses fit, active, and healthy. There is much more going on there than meets the eye when you just drive by and see the horses in the paddocks out back. I invite all of you to come by and talk to some of the users and watch people ride. Come see what our sport is all about.

“Subsidizing the arenas benefits hundreds, if not thousands of people”

That is why one uses rates per person to compare. To do otherwise would be unfair, idiotic, unscientific, biased … and whatever other words one wishes to use.

But that has never stopped anyone from making comments on here. :-)

I found myself agreeing with and “thumbs upping” most comments above. All points are valid. Some questions however…
1) Who owes this building?
-if its the City, i dont know how the concern of “an aging roof” is the concern of the horse folks
2) What is the amount to be “forgiven”?
-if its 2000$, thats a different story than if it were say 10,000$
3) Why can the City not have the consultation of “an age friendly action plan” with 8 predetermined pillars done in house. Then apply for a Trudeau special of “infrastructure spending” on the udating to this facility for the Summer Games? I know its a stretch but it seems silly to me to blow 20,000$ on a consultant when members of the community could put an amount that big to way better use.
4) And lastly, this Telus sign variance…is this to take down some signage for the Winter Games and put up some advertising? Was this variance granted some time ago for the Winter Games? Will the new banner be for the Summer Games?

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