Castlegar Mayor Bruno Tassone (centre), seen here with recreation commission members Dan Rye (left) and Bergen Price. The Castlegar recreation commission approved the project application at its last meeting. (Photo: John Boivin)

RDCK moves ahead with Castlegar rec complex upgrade plan

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

The plan to upgrade Castlegar’s community complex cleared another hurdle Thursday after the regional district board gave the go-ahead to staff to apply for funding from senior governments.

Specifically, the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s directors approved a plan to apply for $13 million in grants.

“I think it’s great, it’s a perfect opportunity to try to get some grant funding,” said Castlegar Mayor Bruno Tassone, following the monthly RDCK meeting in Nelson. “But I’m a little bit hesitant as usual about what it is going to cost the taxpayer.

“But that’s all part of the game. We don’t know what it’s going to cost until we see what funding comes back.”

The board ratified a plan apply to the provincial and federal governments for roughly $13 million of the $19.37-million project. The money would be coming from a recreation infrastructure fund that will cover up to 73 per cent of a project’s cost.

The rest of the funds for the upgrade would come from a combination of reserves and new taxes, unless other sources of funding can be found.

The RDCK board vote comes after the Castlegar and District Recreation Commission gave its approval for staff to apply for the funding at a meeting last week.

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

Upgrades to the complex were narrowly defeated in a referendum last summer.

However, the application approved Thursday is a scaled-down version of the plan, and only includes a new social space, running track, improved fitness centre and pool upgrades.

Improvements to the arena, including a second sheet of ice, were dropped from the proposal.

While the approval is good news for supporters of the project, not all directors were in favour.

Area I director Andy Davidoff tried to convince the board to go for a scaled-down version of the project. He had unsuccessfully pitched his $5.5-million plan at last week’s recreation commission meeting, only to have it unceremoniously rejected.

The same motion was defeated by the full RDCK board.

Despite uncertainty over the final cost of the project, Tassone said he was happy with the decision.

“Well, it’s another step forward. So we’re getting closer, it’s just a matter of seeing where the provincial [and federal] governments come with it now.”

Staff have to submit their application by Wednesday, Jan. 23.



reporter@rosslandnews.com

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