New grant program renews skate park hopes

The launch of a new Columbia Basin Trust grant program gives hope to organizer Scott Daniels.

The launch of a new Columbia Basin Trust grant program is the silver lining in an otherwise disappointing year of still no skate park in Trail, says Scott Daniels.

After being denied federal funds to build the outdoor venue as a “legacy” project, Daniels has renewed hope that local dollars will finally get the all wheel park constructed.

“It is unfortunate and it was tough news for our committee,” says Daniels, referring to the Canada 150 infrastructure grant program that collapsed following the federal election.

Daniels, chair of the Society for the Friends of the Trail Sk8 Park, says that was just another bump in the road.

He maintains the new trust program could be the best opportunity to date because project costs can be covered up to 70 per cent.

“The Canada 150 grant would have covered only 50 per cent of the project costs compared to the amount provided by the new CBT granting opportunity,” he explained, noting both grants max out at $500,000. “This is great news for the Friends of the Trail Skate Park, the City of Trail, and taxpayers.”

Daniels is hopeful that the grant ceiling could alleviate the society’s $275,000 fundraising commitment. To date, the group has raised almost $70,000.

One possible scenario could have the city contributing $142,000 scenario, the society $68,000, and the balance potentially from CBT, he explained.

“This is much less than the $290,000 the city was on the hook for if the Canada 150 grant application was successful,” Daniels noted. “In the end, the final numbers will be left to the good judgment of those we elected to spend wisely our tax dollars,” he added. “I’m confident that with the generosity of our many sponsors, good decisions at city hall, and hard work by the grant writer in the City of Trail’s Parks and Recreation Department, we will see success this time.”

CBT announced the new $9 million grant program two weeks ago.

Recreation Infrastructure Grants are offering $3 million per year over the next three years to help groups and organizations throughout the Basin, with construction of new recreation projects or upgrades to existing infrastructure.

The funds are earmarked for improvements to structures and spaces like back country trail networks, swimming pools, ice rinks, curling arenas, sports fields and parks.

Groups can receive up to 70 per cent of project costs to a maximum of $500,000. CBT maintains investing in recreation encourages residents to live active and healthy lifestyles, as well as supports tourism in the region.

The first intake is open now until March 14. A second granting cycle is slated for the summer.

Trail submitted an application to the Canada 150 program requesting $375,000 to build the park near the boat launch at Gyro Park.

The city was informed via an email from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) in early January that in fact, the request was turned down.

According to the Jan. 6 WD correspondence, funds from the federal program have been fully allocated but wrote the application would be kept on file for future opportunities.