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October 28, 2017 12:54 am

BCNE’s Requests Back Before Council

Monday, January 4, 2016 @ 4:32 AM

Prince George, B.C.-   It’s decision night  on what to do about the loan  the Prince George Agricultural Historical Association  has  with the City of Prince George.

The  Association,  which  presents the BCNE,  borrowed  $45 thousand dollars from the City in  2010.  Had the regular  payment schedule been  followed,  the  Association would have ended up paying  the City  the principal, and $4,129.00 in interest over the  course of the 5 year term of the loan,

That didn’t happen.

Instead,  the  Association only made  two payments over the course of the 5 years,  $9,000 in  the fall of 2010, and  $5 thousand in the fall of 2013.  The loan was supposed to have been paid off in June of  2015,  but,  with interest stacking up,   the outstanding balance is now $37,033 dollars,   as  lack of payments has meant the interest on the loan  has climbed  nearly 2 thousand more  to just over $6,000.

Council could  decide  to forgive the loan ( or a portion thereof)   putting it on the books as a ‘grant’.  That would mean tax payers will have to pick up the cost  as  the  amount is not budgeted for in 2016,  so  the  levy would have to be boosted by .04% to cover the  amount.

Then there was the  request from the Association to  have its rent and utility fees ( $2500 a year)  waived,  plus,   waive the cost to rent the  grounds for the Spring midway ($3,040.00) and provide free transit  during the annual  BCNE, just as free transit was provided during the Canada Winter Games.

In a report to Council,   Staff point out  the free transit  during the Games, was only made possible by the  work of some UNBC students who, under a project they called ‘Pave the Way’,  raised dollars to cover the  daily  revenue  transit would have seen  had  riders  paid  fares  during the Games.


If I was a betting man I wouldn’t bet on what they’re going to do. Common sense would see council telling the BCNE to get stuffed but, as council seems to prove more and more often, they know diddly squat about common sense.

I’m thinking that maybe the city can forgive my city taxes for the next few years as I would like a deal similar to BCNE.
If I do not pay my city taxes , my property will go up for tax sale.

Council, Say no, have them go back to the drawing board. You let this thru, it just opens the flood gates.

Write off the interest for the next three years.

If they can not meet the rent of the office for $2,500 for an year, than they really should need to clean their mirror to make sure they can see themselves clearer.

It is hard to believe that they can not even afford to pay $3000 for parking lot rental.

To me it sounds like this group is a bunch of left wingers wanting a free ride. Sorry, maybe we need a new bunch of people in the organization to make it run like a business, not a favor to our community.

You have at least 20-25 thousand people rolling thru, likely dropping $40 a head. That is close to a million dollars. I think you need to look at yourself, not the tax payers.

We keep being told that the PGEx/BCNE has had a successful year every so often. It seems it is not often enough.

If the City were a lending institute, how would they determine that the loan is a secure one? There are no assets that can be liquidated in order to cover the money borrowed. The longer it takes to pay off, the worse it gets. What would successful future operations have to look like in order to pay off such loans? If they were forgiven, would they be able to operate without future bailouts?

I would have thought that the City Administration would have come back with a justification report that resembles the justification for having any kind of event in PG, whether Canada Winter Games, BC Summer Games, BCNE, softball tournaments, Cougar subsidy for use of the CN Centre, etc.
How much money is generated in the community as a result of the BCNE?

The City now has an economic development department which is in-house and directed by the City, not by an independent Board. I am surprised that they were not involved in the response Council requested.

maybe if BCNE was to say they were going to sell alcohol they might have more luck? or maybe a hockey team? city seems to like alcohol and hockey related stuff.

The folks who run the BCNE are all volunteers, so it’s not like they gain materially by putting this on. Give them enough flack they’ll quit.

The question is a simple one, do the taxpayers of Prince George want to subsidize an annual fair. Very few of these types of things can make it on their own, if they could, private business would do it. Ask the guy who put on Wooffest how easy it is to make a buck.

And the city is definitely in the subsidize business. Theatre Northwest get’s a huge chunk of cash every year, and let’s face it, not too many lower income people can attend even with the price of the subsidized ticket.

We should just quite the facade of loans, and if we want something, we put it in the budget, and we pay for it.

I am curious though, how much has the PAC society received in Grants just to study the concept and put together proposals. $40,000 looks pretty cheap when you consider how many thousands of people have enjoyed the BCNE since 2010. So far, PAC has just provided thousands of online posts.

Best comment by far, so far, from Ski51, 11:49 a.m.

The comparison to Theatre Northwest says it all; the City is already in the grant/subsidy business.

The $40,000.00 question is: What does Theatre Northwest do for the majority of P.G. taxpayers that the B.C.N.E. does not?

As a seasoned volunteer, I would agree that if too many demands or excessive criticism is made on volunteers, they will simply quit.

As a business person, and without intimate knowledge of how the ‘fair’ is operated, I ask “is the fair being operated in the most efficient and cost effective manner”?


Ski, I agree. The BCNE has brought in thousands from outside of PG, Theater Northwest and the silly PAC 0). I don’t mind the BCNE getting my dollars at all.
City Admin has got to get their crap together and understand the BCNE brings in a lot more than any other outfit in this town. When they’re done with the BCNE, they’ve paid their hotel bills, they’ve shopped and dined, lots of money is spent by the out of towners.

Hi Elaine I thought we were allowed 24 hours to comment on articles, but it seems that that the 24 hr window has been taken away IE Crime took no holiday and no jail time for Haus what is with that?

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