The proposed Riverfront Centre has another half a million dollars in the coffer.
The Columbia Basin Trust has approved $500,000 in grant money to go towards the proposed library/museum site should the Loan Authorization Bylaw pass when Trail voters cast their ballots on Nov. 15.
Barbara Gibson, chair of the Trail and District Public Library Board, says the promise of $500,000 gives the board momentum for the future.
“It is always a good thing to get grant money,” she said. “You can leverage that with other grant organizations.”
The promised funds will also provide a bit of relief to taxpayers should the over $6 million facility be built. If there were no outside funding for the project, Trail taxpayers would see an increase of $81 on their annual property taxes to cover the cost of the new facility.
According to the City of Trail’s website, every $1 million in third-party funding would reduce that bill by $11 per year and Gibson says this $500,000 grant will only benefit the ratepayers.
“Anytime you get grant money, it (positively) impacts the cost to the residents,” she said. “I’m sure council will be getting those figures out soon.”
In the next few weeks, Trail City Council will be meeting to discuss property tax allocation and property tax impacts with this new funding. The goal for the library and Trail Historical Society is to reduce the cost of the proposed Riverfront Centre by $2 million to ease the strain on Trail taxpayers.
If the referendum doesn’t pass, Gibson says the grant money will have to go back where it came from.
“The grant funding is conditional on the referendum passing, so we would just lose that money,” she said.
The library board and the historical society are in the midst of an education campaign and Gibson says it isn’t over until residents hit the voting booths.
“The historical society and the library have been at every market this past summer providing information,” she said. “There will also be another information flyer delivered to every house in Trail prior to the referendum.”
Gibson also wants to let the public know there there will be an open house regarding the future of the Riverfront Centre on Oct. 8. The open house is at the Aquatic Centre from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and anyone is welcome. Representatives from both the library and the historical society will be there to answer questions and hear ideas.
The library and the historical society are also available to provide information on the vote and the facility to different groups around town.
“The historical society and the library are going out and talking to groups within our community, so if anyone would like anymore information and for us to come and talk to them, that would be great,” she said.
The main message Gibson has for residents of Trail? Take the time to vote, no matter what.
“The major thing that we are trying to emphasize when we are talking to people is that is is really important to vote, regardless of how you vote,” she said. “It’s really important to get out and vote. Things don’t happen if people don’t come out and vote.”