The Doug Bondue arena in Port Alice will be staying shuttered for third season in a row. (North Island Gazette file photo)

Reopening for Port Alice’s shuttered arena unlikely

Bankrupt pulp mill still owes $2 million in unpaid taxes, leaving village in cash crunch

The Doug Bondue Arena in Port Alice will be staying shuttered for the time being.

Port Alice Mayor Kevin Cameron confirmed there are no plans to fire up the village’s dormant arena this coming winter.

The Doug Bondue Arena has been shuttered the two previous seasons, primarily due to the costs involved with running it, and the fact that the bankrupt Neucel Specialty Cellulose pulp mill still owes the village more than $2 million in unpaid taxes.

It costs about $250,000 to run the arena for a season. There would also be about $30,000 in start-up costs to reinstall the ammonia and inspect and test the equipment, and it would require two employees to run.

As for the future of the building itself, Cameron said council is currently looking at ideas to use it for other things, but that will likely have to wait until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

He added they are not looking at demolishing the building.

“There’s a lot of value in it. That’s a sound building and it’s been well kept over the years.”

Coun. Bruce Lloyd noted the arena “likely won’t ever run again unless we have a big client come in and give us some money… We’ve taken the ammonia out so it’s done, it’s sitting idle.”

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RELATED: Port Alice pulp mill creditors unlikely to get paid, trustee says

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