Build it and they will come. That’s the hope for the Regional District of Central Kootenay as construction proceeds on a new kitchen in the John Bucyk Arena lobby.
Requests for proposals to operate a concession have drawn interest, but no formal replies, Creston and District Community Complex manager of recreation Randy Fediuk said at Monday’s local services committee meeting.
Area C director Larry Binks voiced his concern about the length of time it has taken to get the kitchen built.
“I was at a hockey game on the weekend and I got complaints about it,” he said. “It’s now almost two months since the contract was awarded. For me, that’s not good enough — it’s embarrassing the hell out of me.”
Project manager Wendell Marshall said the time frame is largely a reflection of the economy.
“Companies aren’t keeping things in stock now,” he said. “When a company gets an order for something like a stove, they order it from the factory.”
Stainless steel items like counters and venting are one-of-a-kind items, constructed to fit and suit the requirements of the space and use of the facility, he added.
Regional directors learned that the lobby flooring is near completion and construction of a kitchen to provide snacks for hungry visitors will be ready for occupancy in mid-December. But there is no certainty about how the kitchen will be operated or for what hours.
“Where we’ve really fallen down is we really need to keep the public up-to-date,” Area B director John Kettle said. “We owe it to the public and we’ve been losing credibility with the public over this.”
Committee chair and Creston Mayor Ron Toyota said that part of the delay was the committee’s fault. When the call for tenders was ready, the directors were unable to agree to it using email communication and the tender had to wait for two weeks until a meeting could be held.
Kettle said he had feedback that the request for proposals to operate the concession was too complicated.
“Let’s simplify this and call in folks who do this for a living — and user groups,” he said. “I hate to use the term, but we need to get innovative here.”
Fediuk was directed to approach the Creston Valley Thunder Cats and any interested parties in an attempt get the concession operating as soon as possible after the kitchen is approved for use.
•Kettle said that after about 14 years of operating as an ad hoc committee, it’s time for the group of four Creston Valley RDCK directors to be recognized formally as a standing committee.
“This group got started because the RDCK got tired of Creston Valley directors arguing about local issues at board meetings,” he said.
Kettle, who is also the chair of the RDCK board, said he asked staff to prepare a template that would give standing committee status to the group, pending board approval.
“There are no similar committees so there is no model we can just adopt.”
•A discussion about what constitutes a political sign took place. The issue arose when a community complex staff member told Fediuk that a new RDCK sign in the hockey rink might be contrary to policy.
The RDCK sign names Kettle and Binks as directors, and is part of the collection of signs acknowledging financial sponsors of the Creston Valley Thunder Cats junior B hockey team.
Binks and Kettle said they had no input into the sign but did not consider it to be political in nature. Area A director Garry Jackman said he disagreed and that directors’ names shouldn’t be included in such signage because it implies they donated money personally.
Kettle said he would discuss the issue further with Joe Chirico, general manager of community services.