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Infrastructure Challenges Lie Ahead for Prince George

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 @ 2:09 PM


Mayor Lyn Hall addresses Prince George Chamber of Commerce – photo 250 News

Prince George BC- Although 2016 has been a banner year for Prince George in the form of  new construction and development,  there are  major infrastructure challenges that will be  addressed in the budget discussion set for late January and early February.

Mayor Hall says  while most people think of infrastructure as that which is below ground,   there are facilities  above ground which  need urgent attention  and the four Seasons Pool and Fire Hall Number 1 are at the top of the list.

A consultant’s  review of the pool  indicated the 50 year old Four Seasons  pool  needs to be replaced to address a number of issues, including accessibility  and out dated  change rooms.   Replacement of that pool   has an estimated cost of $35 million dollars.

Then there is Fire Hall  number 1,  which  another report  indicated is in the wrong place  and  is also  long past its shelf life.   Replacing that facility  has a price tag of $15 million dollars.

“It’s  ging to be a really tough conversation around  this during budget because those aren’t the only two facilities that require work and reinvestments.   We have an  ElkCentre  that is aging and needs work,   the  Aquatic Centre and CN Centre   need work,  and when you talk about reinvesting in those, the work that we need to do, in many cases it’s a million, two million dollars,  but it adds up.  So we’ve got a lot of work to  do.”

He says  while there are challenges with  other facilities that need upgrades,  the Fire Hall and the Four Seasons Pool are the biggest ones.  ” You get to the point where do you  continue to   invest  money, year after year after year, or do you at some point  down the road,  say look, we’ve got to think about biting the bullet here  and make a decision on whether we’re  going  to have a new (Fire) Hall  or a new swimming pool  or both, and I think we  getting close to having to make that kind of decision.”


Challenges lie ahead but we had no trouble finding 60 million for the Police Station, $15 Million for Kin 1, half a million for the Cougars and their video screen, 3 million for the City offices on Quinn, etc., etc., etc. It’s well past time to spend on the needs and not the wants. The Mayor may have to forego a few photo ops though.

not cheap these days.

Anybody know when fire hall #1 was built ? The oldest fire hall in Kelowna was built in 1924. Gotta love old brick buildings that were meant to stand the test of time.

Did a quick search on this site and found a couple of interesting things.

In 2013 the mayor and council of the day approaved a $300,000.00 study to look at the needs for the two aquatic facilities going forward.


In 2015 a civic facilities report presented to council said that it appeared that they were not in as bad a condition as previously reported with the coliseum being in the worst shape needing just under $3 million to bring it up to snuff.


Then on September 2nd there was another aquatic needs assessment presented to council. I could not find the cost of this report but would put money that it was a brand new report costing well north of $100K

The final recommendation of this report was for the city to spend a total of $62,000,000.00 to replace the four seasons and update the aquatic center, For Lyn Hall to spew the $35 million number is just blowing smoke.

In the meantime we have spent over around a million freaking dollars on reports and have absolutely nothing to show for it.

When Hall did not mention that the current council have placed the library entrance and the refrigeration system for the ice oval on the capital list. Another $5 million or so.

Fire Hall #1 was never in the ‘wrong’ location if you think about it since the area had many homes instead of shopping where Parkwood is and the light industrial park off Queensway. A study of moving the station in the 90s would have been ideal. $15 million for a new station isn’t that bad.

Dollars to doughnuts they figure out if they combine the new Four seasons with a PAC … we will get such a deal that we just can’t pass it up .

or maybe I’m just being silly.

We need to get an understanding as to what if anything the old fire hall, and swimming pool could be used for. If they are tear downs, then of course there is a huge cost to demolishing the building and throwing all the crap into the land fill. Then there is the question as to what this land would be used for. Could we sell it, and use the money from the sale to offset the costs of the new buildings?? If not, why not.??

Remember our **rush to judgement** with the old police station, that now sits empty. We were supposed to sell this property to off set the cost of the new station, however I haven’t seen that happen. We were also supposed to sell the property on the East end of 4th Avenue ie; offices, purchasing, and maintenance yards to offset the costs of purchasing the old Yellowhead Road and Bridge buildings on 18th and Ospika, and the new office buildings. Havent seen any movement in that area.

Perhaps we have enough property we could sell to cover the cost of some of these new buildings. Hmmmmmmm.

Fire Hall Number one was built in 1956. Still seems to be in pretty good shape.

We need to assess all our fire hall needs, rather that looking at them one building at a time.

Business is good for consultants in Prince George.Now I know who has been purchasing all the new houses in town.

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