Regional help needed for skate park plan

"...if the regional district contributed moneys towards the park that it could be constructed sooner.” - David Perehudoff

With Trail council’s decision to maintain the skate park committee’s fundraising goal at a cool $275,000, the struggling but resilient group has been offered a glimmer of hope that could see the half-million dollar project roll forward sooner rather than later.

After the city turned down an appeal by the skate park committee to reduce its lofty fundraising goal to a more reasonable $100,000, during the March 10 governance meeting, Trail council members landed an idea to approach the regional district for help with the long-awaited outdoor park.

“The intent of the motion was to ask the RDKB if they would be willing to consider allocating some of the proceeds from the sale of the airport back to the skate park,” explained David Perehudoff, Trail’s chief administrative officer (CAO).

“The thinking is that if it is going into surplus that the skate park would be a regionally used amenity,” he continued. “And if the regional district contributed moneys towards the park that it could be constructed sooner.”

For now, the money from the airport sale will be held in reserve, confirmed John MacLean, CAO for the regional district.

“I would take the request to fund the skate park to the board and see what they have to say,” he said. “I think it would ultimately end up at the East End Services Committee, which does still have a regional recreation function.”

That news is encouraging for park fundraiser Scott Daniels, who added that after many obstacles, the committee remains unfazed and clear in its goal to create a park for youth in the area.

To date, skate park fundraising has garnered in excess of $61,000 in cash commitments.

To step up the project’s visible presence in the community, the committee is embracing this year’s Silver City Days events by taking part in the Saturday parade and by hosting a lineup of the Kootenay Skateboard Series May 3 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Trail Memorial Centre.

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Skate park issues were on the agenda at Montrose’s committee of the whole meeting last week, when village council addressed the condition of its 10-year-old outdoor park, located east of the community hall.

The Montrose Youth Action Team Society leases the park from the village for $1 a year, but with issues of aging equipment, Montrose council opted for only a six-month renewal.

“Equipment is breaking down a bit and could be reaching the end point of its life,” explained Kevin Chartres, Montrose’s CAO.

“Six months will give the society time to assess the condition and come up with a plan for the future use of the area.”

News is good for youth living in Rossland, because the city’s skate park is slated to break ground next spring after raising almost $130,000 and another $250,000 in-kind donations, according to Aaron Cosbey, board member of the Rossland Skatepark Association.

“This leaves just under $200,000 short of our goal,” said Cosbey. “But we’re confident we can fill that breach by this time next year.”.

Cosbey said the association receives proceeds from kids’ birthday parties to self-initiated funding drives on the street by Rossland youth, to ad hoc corporate donations.