Hay River and Fort Smith are trying to pay off a $50,000 deficit left over from the 2018 Arctic Winter Games (AWG) by selling discounted merchandise and Chase the Ace tickets in both communities.

Judy Goucher, Hay River’s senior administrative officer, said the $50,000 figure is accurate to the end of August, when the 2018 AWG host society’s financial audit began.

Goucher told Cabin Radio each town is responsible for 50 percent of the deficit.

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As Chase the Ace is still running in both communities, the revenue those events have generated in September and October means the current deficit figure will be slightly lower than $50,000.

“As soon as the audit is complete, they’ll make the adjustments for whatever Chase the Ace revenues aren’t already included in there,” said Goucher.

“Then they’ll do a final reporting and they’ll let the communities know if they have anything they need to pay to make it break even, or whether there will be some residual to come back to the communities.”

The licences to run the Chase the Ace lotteries are held by the AWG host society, not the towns, which could lead to complications as the society prepares to wind up its operations.

“If the ace isn’t pulled before the audit is over, they’ll be reviewing what they need to do in terms of winding up [the lottery] or changing the licence,” said Goucher.

The two towns will be able to continue raising funds through the sales of merchandise, no matter the status of the audit.

The remaining merchandise is valued at $27,000.

“We have a lot of clothing and collector’s items,” noted Hay River Mayor Brad Mapes.

In Hay River, merchandise can be purchased at the Visitor Information Centre. In Fort Smith, the town is selling merchandise through its website.