Smithers has decided not to waive fees for use of the new arena when the town hosts the Mine Rescue Challenge this summer.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines asked permission to use the arena and Heritage Park for a week in June at no cost.
Mayor Taylor Bachrach says after council had a lengthy discussion, they decided not to offer up the space for free.
“The group did feel that given the financial costs of operating the new arena and the business plan for the town really requires us to charge and recover those fees, we weren’t prepared at this time to waive the fees for the use of the arena,” he says.
Bachrach adds council recognizes the importance to the community of the event and says they are looking forward to sitting down with organizers and making arrangments.
The 60th annual competition will be held the second week of June.