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City to pay full cost of dasher boards

City council backed away Monday night from trying to convince the Prince George Cougars to cover half the cost of replacing the dasher boards in the CN Centre hockey rink.
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City council backed away Monday night from trying to convince the Prince George Cougars to cover half the cost of replacing the dasher boards in the CN Centre hockey rink.

During budget discussions in February, council balked at having the city pay the entire $578,000 bill to replace nearly 24-year-old system with an acrylic rink board and acrylic glass system.

The Western Hockey League mandated that this National Hockey League standard be in effect for the 2019-2020 season it was noted at the time, prompting Coun. Kyle Sampson to argue that other user groups did not ask for the change.

Sampson changed his tune on Monday, saying he has since learned other groups will also benefit, noting the new system will be safer and easier to put up and take down.

"It's not an upgrade that's only benefiting the Cougars," Sampson said.

In a report to council, city manager Kathleen Soltis said a dasher board system that meets current standards will enhance the chances of Prince George attracting national-level and even international-level games and tournaments.

The work will be funded out of reserves and won't affect the 2019 tax levy, Soltis said.