The Town of Hay River will receive $16,076 of a cash surplus from the 2018 Arctic Winter Games (AWG).
At its July 30 meeting, council accepted the final financial report on the games from the 2018 AWG Host Society for the period ending June 30.
The report identifies a surplus of $59,198, of which $32,156 is a cash surplus and the remainder is the value of merchandise split between Hay River and Fort Smith for possible sale.
According to background information provided to council by town administration, neither community is anticipating any significant revenue from the sale of the surplus merchandise.
In accordance with the tri-party 2018 AWG Host Agreement, Hay River and Fort Smith are to share equally in any surplus or deficit resulting from the games. That means the cash surplus of $32,156 results in each community receiving $16,076.
“This basically wraps up, I guess, the Arctic Winter Games,” said Coun. Keith Dohey, who congratulated the AWG Host Society board of directors and all volunteers, along with town employees for their work with the host society.
“It was a pretty incredible event for the community and the Town of Fort Smith, obviously, and the region benefitted greatly from this event,” he said. “It was a huge undertaking, and a lot of people said it couldn’t be done. And I think we proved pretty well that it could be.”
Coun. Brian Willows also congratulated all those involved in staging the games.
“Certainly there were a lot of naysayers that said it couldn’t be done and it would drive us into a hole financially,” said Willows. “It turns out we even have a small surplus. So I mean that’s really something to be proud of. I’m not sure that too many other games have been able to pull that off.”
The AWG Host Society requested that the $16,076 cash surplus for Hay River be matched by the town to help pay for a multiuse floor for the arena.
“I would just ask that council be open to that when it comes to budget time because there’s going to be in the near future, not so distant future, a group of individuals coming forward with a bunch of other money that will probably cover the rest of that floor,” Dohey noted.
Judy Goucher, the senior administrative officer with the town, noted a multiuse floor for the arena would cost about $200,000.
Goucher pointed out that the town recorded a “significant number” of expenses in prior years that did not get charged to the Arctic Winter Games.
“I would also add that the town may have some additional expenses this year related to Arctic Winter Games that were unexpected,” she said. “There’s quite a few items that are in storage that we have been asked to assist in disposing of. So there may be a cost associated with that which is unanticipated.”
According to the background information from administration, the Town of Hay River provided a $160,000 cash contribution to the AWG. In addition, the town incurred expenses related to legal fees for agreements, administration hours for time spent completing contribution funding applications and AWG governance, in-kind labour, facility use for no fees, extra snow removal, additional waste disposal and other services for which the town was not compensated.