By David F. Rooney
Council has approved a recommendation that City staff apply to the Ministry of Community Sport and Cultural Development’s Community Recreation Program for a grant to support construction of a new skateboard park and pump track.
The park and the track, which are planned for Centennial Park, are together expected to cost about $800,000. If the application is successful the project could receive between $350,000 and $400,000 in funding.
But it was a close-run thing.
A report to Council by Parks, Recreation and Culture Director Kerry Dawson said there were two projects eligible for funding. One was a proposal to enhance the Aquatic and Community Centre the other was the skateboard park and pump track.
The Aquatic Centre and Community Centre project envisioned spending $232,000 to upgrade elements of Aquatic Centre, integrate $32,000 in changes to the Community Centre kitchen and $120,000 in enhancements to the Community Centre itself.
Dawson said the addition of the new skateboard park and pump track “will enhance tourism in Revelstoke, increase level of a large number of community residents as well as visitors and both (the Columbia Valley Skateboard Association [CVSA] and the Revelstoke Trail Alliance) are ready and willing to continue to work toward moving the project forward to a positive conclusion.”
She also noted that the pump track and skateboard park were more likely to be approved for a grant than enhancements to the existing Aquatic and Community Centres. The $30 million CRP exists to give families greater access to recreation facilities. Priority is given to smaller communities, of which 188 are eligible. The ministry expects 250 applications for grants this year.
The two organizations held a public meeting earlier this year to convince the general community and City Council that their proposals had merit.
The CVSA has vowed to find the grant money that would allow the park to be built. It faces a deadline of 2015, but Dawson noted that it would be easier to acquire more grants if they could use a $400,000 CRP grant as leverage.
Councillors discussed the pros and cons of the proposals and, ultimately, the skateboard park and pump track won out.