No fire pit this winter

You won't be able to warm your hands at the Stuart Park skating rink this winter.

The City of Kelowna is shutting off natural gas to the fire pit following a request from Fortis BC to conserve.

The request went out as the utility tries to replenish its supply following last month's explosion at the Enbridge pipeline north of Prince George.

Earlier this week, the company said the flow through the pipeline has reached about 55 per cent, far below what is needed this winter.

City building services manager Martin Johansen says the city is taking a number of measures to reduce natural gas use, including shutting down the rinkside fire pit.

"People will have to dress a little warmer," he said. "We have to conserve what we can."

Johansen says the thermostats inside all city buildings have been turned down a degree, and schedules have been tightened so heat doesn't come on as early, and goes off sooner.

Facilities at the city's two swimming pools have also been affected.

"We've also lowered the temperature in our Parkinson Rec Centre hot tub and pool and H2O Centre hot tub and pool by one degree."

Once Fortis sends word gas supply has improved, the city will consider relighting the fire pit.

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