It’s being called a win-win.
The city is purchasing the SASCU Indoor Memorial Arena from the Salmon Arm and Shuswap Lake Agricultural Association (SASLAA), the organization which runs the annual fall fair.
The agreement, which sees the city paying $420,000 for the building at 351 Third St. SW as well as a laneway along Third Avenue SW, was announced at Salmon Arm Council’s June 11 meeting.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Coun. Chad Eliason said, explaining the community gets an asset while SASLAA doesn’t have to take on a financial burden.
“This is a great day for Salmon Arm. A lot of positive will come in the long term.”
He thanked city staff and the SASLAA board for coming up with a great solution.
Mayor Nancy Cooper agrees.
“We wanted to make sure it stayed in community hands,” she said, acknowledging the facility needs work.
“We basically bought it back for exactly what they paid for it. There is work to be done, so we’re striving to make sure everyone will be able to continue to use it.”
She said the city will be assessing the work as well as talking with the different groups who use it.
Asked about the heating system which tends, during freezing temperatures, to keep patrons inside the building colder than the temperature outside, she said the city will do the work that needs to be done.
Phil Wright, president of SASLAA, told council the board is very pleased.
“It was the farsightedness of council and staff who said, yes, we can make this work for both of us.”
He said the main idea for SASLAA is to have a home for indoor exhibits. Before the arena, it was the Jackson school cafeteria and, before that, the drill hall.
“The indoor arena has served us well… We hope to have more (fall fair) entries yet.”
Under the city’s ownership, which will be finalized when its general capital reserve bylaw is adopted, SASLAA will continue to use the indoor arena to house its fall fair exhibits.