Clock ticking on skatepark grant money

Trail Skatepark committee in danger of losing more than $10,000 in grants.

It is time to break ground or the Trail SkatePark committee stands to lose more than $10,000 in grants.

In 2012, the City of Trail allotted $10,250 of  Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) Community Initiatives money to the Trail SkatePark.

The money has to be spent within a year, otherwise it will have to reapplied for, said Sharon Toupin, accounting clerk for the regional district’s CBT grants program.

“It is my understanding that it is common for grants to be time-limited,” said Scott Daniels, SkatePark committee member.

“Options to address this would be to support the city in identifying work that can be executed before the grant expires or to request an extension.”

In June, the SkatePark committee met with representatives from the city to discuss its fundraising progress and request further feedback.

“They are a small group focused on moving forward,” said Coun. Eleanor Gattafoni-Robinson.

“But grant application is a difficult process and we have to face reality because the skate park isn’t going to appear tomorrow.”

The committee is hoping that CBT will have some compassion for them and extend the timeline, added Gattafoni-Robinson.

“They will have to wait and see because there is not much more that can be done,” she said.

In June 2012, Trail council committed to funding one half of the estimated $550,000 cost for the proposed skate park.

Before construction on the project moves forward, the SkatePark committee is expected to raise the other half of the money required.

To date, combined with the city’s promise of $275,000, commitments from local businesses, individuals, and grants to date, the fundraising total is just over $320,000.

With the tenacity of the SkatePark committee and its fundraising efforts, Daniels remains hopeful that an outdoor skate park in Trail will soon break ground.

“In my opinion, we were all pleased with the progress of our fundraising and look forward to the City of Trail putting the skate park project into the 2014 budget plan,” he said.

The estimated cost for the proposed concrete park does not include elements like a viewing area, green space, washroom facility, children’s playground or pathway connections.

The 8,000-square-foot recreational facility would be open to skateboarders, roller skaters, inline skaters, scooter riders and BMX bike riders.

The planned site for the project is across from the Colombo Lodge in the Gulch.

For more information, visit www.skatetrail.com