A Trail baserunner slides safely into home against Beacon Hill at the 2017 Little League B.C. Championships in Victoria. Trail finished with a 1-5 record at the tournament. The Little League provincials are coming to Trail this July. (Photo:Don Descoteau/Black Press)

A Trail baserunner slides safely into home against Beacon Hill at the 2017 Little League B.C. Championships in Victoria. Trail finished with a 1-5 record at the tournament. The Little League provincials are coming to Trail this July. (Photo:Don Descoteau/Black Press)

Little League catches a break from Trail council

Trail council divvied up $115,000 of Community Initiatives Trust funding to 34 community groups

With so many Little Leaguers catching and batting at Andy Bilesky Park – in four years there’s been a 100 per cent increase in players – volunteer coaches are left with little time to help the youngsters develop basic skills.

Now, with help from City of Trail council and Columbia Basin Trust (Trust) – the league is $10,630 closer to building a second batting cage which will allow more practice time during the season.

Trail Youth Baseball was one of 34 recipients included in Trail’s $115,260 allotment from the Trust’s 2018 Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Program which incorporates community-based funding decisions.

“The City of Trail has been awesome in working with Little League on this project,” says volunteer Kevin Chartres. “They will usually drop everything to come meet us at the park and give advice on anything and everything at the park.”

With the BC Little League championships coming to Trail this summer, volunteer organizers were aiming to have the project completed by then.

Certain logistics have reared up, so that goal many not be achievable.

“We will be relying a lot on volunteers which is really tough to organize when the ball season is so busy,” Chartres said. “And we do have a commitment from some local businesses which will help with budget, but we haven’t worked all details out yet.”

Additionally, city council allotted the group $1,850 toward a sound system for the provincials, which are slated from July 21 to July 29 in Trail.

Besides Little League, other youthful initiatives approved by Trail council include: $8,800 to Scouts Canada for upgrades at Camp Tweedsmuir plus $1,000 for the Scouts Jamboree; $8,000 for the After School Band at Trail Alliance Church; $3,000 to the Lower Columbia Family Action Network for “Vulnerabilities”; $2,000 for Take A Hike, a West Kootenay-wide alternative learning program; and $2,600 for junior piper and drummer development with the Trail Pipe Band.

The biggest chuck of grant money was $20,000, given to the health foundation at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital for the ultrasound department. And the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 11 (Trail) received $11,700 for floor replacement.

Three recipients each received a $5,000 grant. The West Kootenay Brain Injury Association will use its funds for the Trail B.I.G. House, the Trail Maple Leaf Band will invest the dollars into a documentary following its 100th anniversary in 2017, and the Trail Historical Society will direct its grant into a collection appraisal.

The Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs are intended to be flexible and incorporate community-based funding decisions. The programs support local projects that provide additional value to Basin communities, and that benefit the broad community and public good.

Program funds are distributed annually to the Trust’s regional government and Indigenous partners. All areas in the Basin receive the funding, and locally, about $355,000 is streamed through the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary to be allocated for areas and municipalities within.

The areas most affected by the construction of Columbia River Treaty dams also receive Affected Areas funding: these include the communities around the Arrow, Kinbasket, Duncan and Koocanusa reservoirs.

The Trust has committed $4.2 million per year to the programs. Each local community divvies up its allocation and sends the list to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary board for approval.