Once bitten, twice shy.
With the city’s application for hundreds of thousands of federal and provincial grant money through the Community Recreation Program (CRP) doused in April, city council was privy to the error of its ways in a recent conference call with the province.
Although Mayor Dieter Bogs was adamant the city would not be fooled again by an assumption of wide-spread usage and public support for a major facility, he did admit the city used the theory in its application without proper explanation.
Even though there was a commitment by council to construct the facility, Bogs told city council during a regular meeting June 25 that CRP wanted to see a council motion on a commitment that it would be dedicated to a skateboard park program.
CRP wanted to ensure there were programs and initiatives for youth if the grant was successful, and that the residents would actually use the facility— something that was lacking in the Trail application.
“We felt it was automatic that, when you are making a commitment and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, you would be ensuring that the facility would be used,” said Bogs. “Now there will be a statement on programming included in the future because we are dedicated to this (skateboard park) program.”
Council was also advised to use environmentally friendly materials in its construction, said councillor Rick Georgetti.
The CRP grant could have covered up to 80 per cent of the anticipated $550,000 project planned for at a site across from the Piazza Colombo in the Gulch.
In April, council sent a letter to the province to find out how its application fell short.
Two months later city council committed to funding one half of the estimated $550,000 cost for the proposed skate park.
But before construction on the project moves forward the skateboard committee will be expected to raise the other half of the money required.
The estimated cost for the proposed concrete park does not include other elements like a viewing area, green space, washroom facility, children’s playground and pathway connections included in New Line Skate Parks’ design presented last fall.
The 8,000-square-foot recreational facility would be open to skateboarders, roller skaters, inline skaters, scooter riders and BMX bike riders.