By Sally MacDonald
Cranbrook Daily Townsman
The regional district is applying for $1.2 million in recreation funding from the province.
Three projects have been earmarked for a new grant from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, the Community Recreation Grant Program.
On Friday, December 9, the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors agreed to submit recreation projects for Wasa, Jaffray and Invermere.
“Those are sound projects. In Wasa, in particular, the Lions Club has demonstrated a long history of successful community programs as well as funding for it,” said board chair Rob Gay.
An outdoor rink proposed for Wasa would cost about $86,587.64. It would replace an outside rink the Wasa Lions Club operates beside the community centre.
The project would install a concrete slab, wood dasher boards and night-time lighting.
The RDEK is also seeking funding for a more comprehensive outdoor rink for the South Country.
Expected to cost $532,119.87 and be built beside the school, the Jaffray outdoor ice rink would mean that South Country residents no longer have to travel to Cranbrook or Fernie for hockey or skating.
The ice rink would consist of an ice refrigeration plant, concrete slab, poly dasher boards, a manual ice resurfacer and night-time lighting.
“There is substantial grassroots community support for this project,” the staff report to the board said. “In early 2011, the Sand Creek Community Club, Lions Club of Sand Creek and several local tradesmen and contractors offered $33,900 in cash and in-kind contributions for such a project.
RDEK would likely need to be a large contributor of outstanding funding by establishing a service which would require elector assent, likely in the form of a vote.”
The possibility for other funding was important to the board.
“One of the things we looked at is if there was other cash or in-kind available. Government looks more favourably on these things if the community is putting into it,” said Gay.
The third project approved for the funding request is upgrades to the Crossroads Ball Park near Invermere.
The $662,701.60 project would include additional perimeter safety netting and posts, players’ benches, replacement of spectators’ benches, in-field resurfacing, permanent toilet facilities and night time lighting.
“We always submit good proposals following the guidelines so our chances should be as good as anybody else’s I think,” said Gay.
The Recreation Grant Program is limited to three projects for each regional district. The board chose these projects over a $1.1 million trail from Fernie to the ski hill, and $186,192.46 for enhancements to Wycliffe Regional Park.
The program would fund up to 80 per cent of the project’s cost. Applications will be submitted before the March 31 deadline.