×

Splash Island Waterpark Opening Soon!

Splash Island Waterpark opens for the season Saturday, June 3rd.  For details and pool schedules, click here!

Smoke Break. That will be the name of a new private pool hall in Portage la Prairie.

Despite objections from residents who live in the neighbourhood of 601 Tupper St. N --- Centennial Hall -- city council approved a conditional use application for a private club operating as a pool league to open at the site. It wasn't the first time a pool hall proposal has been brought before council in recent months. Previously, approval was given for a pool hall to open in a space at Saskatchewan Ave., and 19th St. SW., in close proximity to a daycare.

"It was a nice location, but there was some strong objections from that daycare," says Pool Hall spokesperson Dave Kirkbride. "And you've got to look out for kids. We understand ... so we looked for somewhere else to go."

When the pool hall proposal was brought to council in September 2016, opponents cited concerns about plans for the establishment to apply for a liquor license, and the subsequent crowds it would attract. Those concerns remained with residents in the neighbourhood of the new location, as council received one letter of opposition, and had several people speak out against allowing the approval of the club -- which still plans to apply for liquor licensing and offer late-night hours of operation.

"I'm worried about people coming into my yard when I'm not home," one resident says. "I had my house broken into quite a few times already when socials went on (at Centennial Hall) years ago. And that's pretty much what I'm worried about, I have three small children."

Kirkbride calls the negative perception tied to pool halls an "outdated look."

"People are viewing movies from the 1970s and 80s, (that show) them as rough and tumble places. It's far, far from that now," he says. "Pool leagues are growing and growing. In Winnipeg ... they had pool league playoffs at the Assiniboine Downs for two weeks, there was pool tables for as far as the eye could see."

"There was no fights, there was nobody getting stabbed," Kirkbride continues. "People go there to compete ... Portage has no where to play pool. We want to give people a place to play pool and have some fun."

There were some concerns expressed by councillors about the language used in describing the club. As originally tabled, the motion was to allow a "private club" to operate at 601 Tupper St. N. Coun. Ryan Espey tabled a motion to defer the matter until a later council meeting, to allow for more time for additional research on what governance and regulations exist on private clubs. That motion was defeated.

Coun. Brent Budz was in favour of granting approval for the club to operate, pointing to the fact that Centennial Hall is simply a vacant building now, and this would create a new space for the community.

Kirkbride agreed: “...that building has been empty and vacant for too long, and there's no where to go in the north end. If you want to go sit and watch a hockey game or baseball game, where can you go?”

Council eventually passed an amended motion allowing a "private club operating a pool league" to open.

The Portage Planning District did instruct council it could pass a motion with restrictions on hours of operation or activities within the club -- presumably to appease the concerns of residents -- but no councillor tabled such an amendment.

The new private pool club already has 35 members, Kirkbride says, and six tables installed. There is work being done to add more pool tables in the near future, and a big screen projector will be put in.

With approval now granted, it won't be long until the business opens its doors. Kirkbride says it will open to members as soon as tomorrow. The membership application process is still under consideration, but Kirkbride says they definitely "don't want a tiny, tiny private club."

"You want to be able to make some money at it too ... we wouldn't want to make anything to difficult for people, and don't want to discourage people from becoming a member," he explains. "That's quite the opposite of what we want. We want to be able to control the environment, that's part of it."

×

Splash Island Waterpark Opening Soon!

Splash Island Waterpark opens for the season Saturday, June 3rd.  For details and pool schedules, click here!

More Local News

Training To Begin Soon For Portage School Division's Accessibility Plan

The Portage la Prairie school division is moving ahead with its accessibility plan. Superintendent Todd Cuddington says recent legislation has mandated that all types of organizations---including…

Online Appointments Launched

The Portage Clinic's launched a new online appointment booking service in order to improve efficiency and overall patient experience. Chief Operating Officer Chris Tompkins says patients with family…

RM Applies For Infrastructure Grants

The RM of Rockwood's hoping it can get in on some provincial grant money to accomplish some infrastructure work. "We had a special meeting at the end of the day to apply for some grant money that…

MS Needs More Research and Volunteers

"The MS Society is huge in research." That's from connections coordinator Ada Jane Okonkwo. "It's very, very important. So far we know 3,500 Manitobans are affected by MS," says Okonkwo. "We have a…

City and RM To Share Information Technology Resources

The RM of Portage council has extended their I-T agreement with the City of Portage la Prairie. Reeve Kam Blight says it just makes sense that instead of the RM going out and hiring their own I-T…

Fort la Reine Museum Opens Doors to New Citizens

New Canadian citizens can learn about Canadian history for free at the Fort la Reine Museum. It's all part of the Cultural Access Program, a nation-wide initiative to help new citizens learn more…

New Oat Variety Named For Arborg

A new oat variety from the Crop Development Centre in Saskatchewan has been named for the town of Arborg, Manitoba. Ron Weik, Seed Portfolio Manager for FP Genetics, notes their company has funded a…

STARS Coming to Portage

The STARS helicopter ambulance flew into Portage la Prairie yesterday to support the Hospital Foundation's Foundation Friday event. STARS base director and flight paramedic Grant Therrien took the…

Bear Rehab Facility Moving Forward in Rockwood

The RM of Rockwood council met with a couple who are continuing to move forward to have a black bear cub rehab facility established in the Stonewall area. The project's funded by television celebrity…

Hoop Dancing Engaging at Oakville School

Oakville School recently used a grant from the Art Smarts Program to bring in a hoop dancing instructor. Portage la Prairie School Division Assistant Superintendent Pamela Garnham explains Teddy…

28th Annual Foundation Friday

Today was Foundation Friday in Portage la Prairie. Portage District General Hospital Foundation executive director Erin Miller lets us in on the action earlier. "Today we're celebrating our 28th…

Gunshots Fired at Residence in Portage

Residents of an Oak Bay home in Portage la Prairie were awoken by the sounds of gunshots and breaking glass early this morning as bullets were shot through windows of the dwelling, the RCMP says.…

Two Arrested at Long Plain First Nation Thursday

On May 24th, 2017, members of the Dakota Ojibway Police Service received information from a concerned citizen regarding the location of two individuals wanted by police. Members attended a residence…

"Public Works Week" Salutes City's Operations Department

As "Public Works Week" draws to a close, the city of Portage la Prairie would like to remind everyone of the important work its Operations department does every day of the year. Councillor Brent Budz…

Double Rainbow Shines After The Storm

A beautiful double rainbow near Austin last evening. We thank Brad Giesbrecht for sharing his photo!

RCMP: High-Risk Driving in Manitoba During Road Safety Week

Statistics from RCMP Traffic Enforcement efforts in Manitoba for Canada Road Safety Week and May Long show high-risk driving behaviour remains a concern on the province's roads, the RCMP says. Police…

Assessments Dropping Slightly in Portage

Reassessment in 2018 will cause a slight decrease in the Portage la Prairie property tax base. The Assessment Services of Manitoba's Indigenous and Municipal Relations branch provided a report to the…

RM Awards Roquette Project Contracts

The RM of Portage la Prairie's continuing preparations for the establishment of the Roquette plant southwest of the city, by awarding two contracts to AECOM. Reeve Kam Blight says outlines what…

A Tour of PCI's Vocational Programming

Last night's Portage la Prairie School Division board meeting wasn't held at its usual location. The meeting took place at Portage Collegiate Institute and involved a tour there. Vice principal Rob…

Sirens, Horns and Flashing Lights at Touch-A-Truck

Sirens, horns and flashing lights fascinated children Thursday as the Portage Community Revitalization Corporation held its Touch-a-Truck event at the BDO Centre for the Community in Portage la…

DiscoverWestman.com is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Encaustic Workshop

27 May 2017 10:00 am

Portage & District Arts Centre, Classroom, Portage la Prairie





Panaches: Caribou and other Cervids of Canada (Exhibition)

27 May 2017 10:00 am - 05 September 2017 5:00 pm

Fort la Reine Museum, Portage la Prairie





Fighting in Flanders: Gas. Mud. Memory. (Exhibition)

27 May 2017 10:00 am - 03 September 2017 5:00 pm

Fort la Reine Museum, Portage la Prairie





Jumpstart Day

27 May 2017 11:00 am - 28 May 2017 3:00 pm

Canadian Tire, Southport





Login