The Kootenay Lake Outdoor Skate Park Society could be breaking ground as early as this summer after an announcement that they will be the recipients of a $400,000 grant.
“After I heard we got the grant I just laid down on the carpet in the sun and stayed there for a bit,” said chair of the society Rob Levesque. “It’s a lot to take in. First of all the mayor and council came through this time. It’s been nine years and all of a sudden we have land we have a design and then the City put in for a grant and we have $400,000.”
The City of Nelson applied for the province’s Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development’s Community Recreation Program in December.
“We have to raise at least another $100,000,” said Levesque. “But we have a good portion of that. It’s hard to say when it will be shovel ready but what this $400,000 means is we have to a lot of meetings to figure out the details. I imagine we’ll be breaking ground by at least next spring.”
After nine years of planning and fundraising Levesque said that it all seems more real.
“I can see it and what a joyous occasion this is for the whole town,” he said. “I’m so thankful for the support of the whole town. This community is amazing. They just stick it out. They never seem to get sick of it, they just keep supporting it.”
Mayor John Dooley found out that the application had been approved on Tuesday.
“I think it’s fantastic,” said Dooley. “How often do you get a project like the skate park or any other project where the bulk of the funding is allocated from the province. It’s a huge boost to that project. There is no turning back now.”
Dooley said that the skate park project was in a good position to be awarded the grant because of the planning that has already been done.
“One of the advantages of the application that we made to the government for the skate park project is that it was essentially shovel ready, but the fact that they were that far along in the planning process and had a site allocated and a design concept I think that was really a big help as well,” he said.