The City of Trail is hoping for a big civic gift as Canada’s 150th birthday nears.
The recent announcement of a $150 million cash stream called the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program means Trail’s long awaited skate park could be in for a large bump of federal dollars.
At Monday’s governance meeting, Trail council members agreed to submit an application requesting $350,000 for the project, now estimated to be $700,000. The other half is part city commitment, $280,000, plus a $70,000 contribution from the Friends of the Trail SkatePark Society.
With the move, council put the much-disputed skate park survey on hold pending Canada 150 grant decisions.
The Canada 150 infrastructure program was announced on May 19 which was a week after city council agreed to fund a random telephone survey to gather demographics and community interest in the structure.
Grants will be spread over two years, giving a one-time opportunity for communities across the country to create a commemoration for Canada’s sesquicentennial milestone in 2017.
The caveat with this particular program is that money must be used for rehabilitation, renovation or expansion of existing infrastructure for public use – a new construction project isn’t eligible.
That means, the park can’t be built anew at the current proposed location on Rossland Ave. – instead it will have to be built as part of an already existing site, which in this case, will be Gyro Park.
“The onus is on us to prove it is existing infrastructure,” explained Trisha Davison from Trail parks and recreation, the department overseeing the grant submission. “In our application we have to confirm it is existing, and currently underutilized,” she added. “And that we could utilize and improve it so it would be a lasting legacy in the community and one the community would be proud of.”
The grant deadline is June 17 with announcements of successful applicants expected in 90 days.
The proposed location for Gyro Park skatepark construction is an undeveloped foreshore area upstream from the boat launch.
“Our thought was (for the area to be) contained within the park boundary that doesn’t have green space we are currently using,” said Davison. “And be something we could improve and beautify that fits within the grant criteria.”
It’s been at least two decades since the matter of building a skate park has been floating around the Trail community.
In that time, BMX bikes, roller blades and scooters have gained popularity, which is the reason the future Trail skate park is now called the All Wheel Park.