From left to right, rec commission members Castlegar Mayor Bruno Tassone, Area I director Andy Davidoff, Area J director Rick Smith, and councillor Dan Rye. (Photo: John Boivin)

Castlegar rec commission gives go-ahead for $13-million grant application

With just two weeks to deadline, getting the application ready will be a huge task

Recreation staff in Castlegar will be busy the next two weeks preparing a grant application to upgrade the Castlegar community complex.

The board of the Castlegar and District Recreation Commission passed a motion Tuesday night giving staff the go-ahead to apply for millions in funding.

“It would have been nice to have a bit more time, but we’ll work through it,” said Castlegar recreation manager Jim Crockett after the meeting.

Crockett is leading the team in preparing the application to the federal and provincial grant authorities.

“We have a whole series of questions that have to be answered through the grant and we have to plug our way through that and get all the necessary paperwork together and motions for the board.”

After months of dithering and debate, the commission finally approved a $19.37-million plan that would see a new social space, running track, improved fitness centre and pool upgrades.

It’s a scaled-down version of the plan rejected by voters in a referendum last summer, and it comes with a much smaller price tag.

The majority (73 per cent) of the project could be paid for by a federal and provincial infrastructure program.

If the project gets the maximum allowable grant funding, it would still leave local taxpayers on the hook for roughly $6 million.

If approved by the RDCK board at its Jan. 17 meeting, that cost would be funded by draining $1 million from RDCK reserves, plus borrowing $5 million to be paid off over five years.

Other sources of potential funding, such as the Columbia Basin Trust or corporate donors, could reduce the cost further.

The motion to pursue the grant application was passed with only one dissenting vote from Area I director Andy Davidoff. He had presented a proposal early in the meeting for a much smaller project — about $5.5 million worth of improvements — that he said would require no tax increase. However, that motion found no support from any of the other commissioners.

After the meeting, Davidoff said his concern was that spiralling costs could put taxpayers on the hook for millions.

“My concern is all about how much can my ratepayers absorb over one year, or for a four-year period of time,” said Davidoff.

“I believe the commission could have chosen to address the actual needs, which are fitness and wellness, and do it in a more fiscally responsible way. And that was the difference between my proposal and what the rest of the commissioners proposed.”

The grant application decision was just one hurdle the upgrades face.

The project proposal has to be approved by federal and provincial authorities, and if the full $13 million isn’t granted, the project couldbe scaled down or even cancelled.

“Until that announcement comes through, the commission doesn’t know what it’s working with when it comes to potential impact on the taxpayer or what the project is going to end up looking like,” said RDCK chief admistrative officer Stuart Horn. “If the grant comes in way lower than we hope, than the commission will have to make a decision if the project moves forward, and in what form.”

In the meantime, staff will be working to meet the various requirements of the grant process. The deadline for submitting an application is Jan. 23.

“All we can do is the best we can in the time we have,” said Crockett. “We’ll put our best foot forward.”



reporter@rosslandnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Trail area homicide investigation continues

Jan. 14 marked one year since Jordan Workman was discovered in the trunk of a burnt car

Updated: Outbreak prompts advisory for visitors to extended care wing in Trail hospital

A respiratory infection has been active in Poplar Ridge Pavilion since Monday, advises IH

Scammers using Castlegar home for rental fraud

Local realtors say the problem is happening more frequently with their properties

RDCK moves ahead with Castlegar rec complex upgrade plan

Board approves grant application for $13 million from provincial, federal governments

PLACE NAMES: East Arrow Park, Pend d’Oreille, and Bay Farm, revisited

The Redlands Trading Association store at East Arrow Park was named for a place in California

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

Explosion sends B.C. firefighter to hospital

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Crowsnest Pass RCMP seek help locating missing man

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

Most Read