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Smokies get funds for team bus

The Trail Smoke Eaters received a major boost towards the long term sustainability of the Junior A hockey in Trail with the announcement Tuesday that the club has been approved for $40,000 of Columbia Basin Trust community initiatives program funding.

The hockey team was allocated more than a third of the $101, 839 CBT money administered by the City of Trail in support of its, “Buy that Bus,” project.

The purchase of a team bus will rid the hockey club of leasing costs for their extensive travel schedule to compete in the B.C. Hockey League, and the club has assurances from a local travel company that an appropriate vehicle would further improve the team’s bottom line by attracting rentals from outside users when it was not required for team travel.

“It shouldn’t be a surprise that this council supports the hockey club. I, personally, can’t envision a Trail without the Smoke Eaters,” Councillor Jack Balfour told the Times, Balfour chaired the city committee which assessed and approved grant applications for the CBT money.

The second largest grants also went to sports organizations.

The Trail Curling Association (TCA) and Trail Youth Baseball (TYB) were each awarded, $7,500 to help with projects upgrading their food service capabilities at the curling rink and Butler Park.

Both groups also received other funding in the city’s list approved at a regional district of Kootenay Boundary meeting last week.

The TCA got $3,000 for youth curling and TYB will use $1,525 for training and development in 2011.

Twenty-two other local projects, operated by groups as diverse as the Red Mountain Racers and the West Kootenay Brain Injury Association, also received cash grants, ranging from $500 to $5000, from the CBT.