New skate park survey postpones potential grant money

City of Trail's decision announcement of a new survey could dry up yet another CBT grant for the wheel park.

Updating demographics for the Trail skate park has temporarily dried up a sizeable funding stream for the project.

Rotarian Scott Daniels, a longtime Friend of the Trail Skate Park, was disappointed to learn Thursday that a large grant he was seeking through Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) hit a bump after the City of Trail announced an upcoming survey that could alter future park plans.

Park design, location and other specifics haven’t been cemented just yet, and could change depending what the random telephone survey reveals.

“It’s very sad that the city’s decision to move ahead with the survey has resulted in further delays by the CBT regarding our request for funding through their Community Development Program application,” said Daniels.

The decision wasn’t made lightly, and isn’t a question of whether or not the trust supports a skate park, says Delphi Hoodicoff, CBT’s communications director.

“Absolutely not,” she explained. “There’s just too many changing and variable factors and I think that is what is happening in the community right now. We are just taking that and saying okay, maybe we need to sit back on this for a bit.”

She said the situation is similar to what the skate park committee recently experienced when $20,000 from CBT’s community initiatives grants expired.

“The money does expire after awhile and this year the money was reallocated to that group because it looked like it (skate park project) might be going somewhere.”

After news that the city is surveying a random section of Trail residents this summer, to ascertain how much taxpayers would be willing to buck up, preferred locations and other factors, the CBT decided to hold off its decision until results of the survey are complete.

With respect to the community development program, the trust requires certainties that the project is moving forward as well as particulars, such as site confirmation, noted Hoodicoff.

“Without all that in place the money gets tied up,” she said.

“Typically in a contract, which is case by case, we might say the same thing – the money expires in a year. And why would we want to tie that money up when it could go to benefit another project.”

Hoodicoff acknowledged the matter as discouraging to skate park supporters, but said without certainty the grant couldn’t be supported at this time.

But that doesn’t mean CBT doesn’t support skate parks, not by a long shot.

Over the past nine years, the organization has allotted $15,000 to Valemount for a skate park; Kimberley $40,000; Kaslo $53,000; and Nelson $50,000.

The majority of the parks were funded through the community initiatives program, said Hoodicoff, adding the range of support varied from upgrading ramps and rails for $4,000 to building new parks for up to $50,000.

“It’s not a decision of whether we support a skate park or not,” she said. “Absolutely not.

“We will definitely be there for them when things are ready to roll.”

Last year, the city successfully submitted an application to CBT’s community development program, and received $450,000 for Trail’s new library/museum slated to break ground in 2016.