Canal Flats mayor Ute Juras celebrates an $800,000 grant for the village arena as Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett looks on.

Canal Flats mayor Ute Juras celebrates an $800,000 grant for the village arena as Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett looks on.

Canal Flats Arena gets big bucks from province

Most of the funds for a major upgrade of the Canal Flats Arena are now in place, thanks to an $800,000 from the B.C. government.

Most of the funds for a major upgrade of the Canal Flats Arena are now in place, thanks to an $800,000 Community Recreation Program grant doled out to the village this week by the B.C. government.

The arena project was one of several in the valley vying for a portion of the $30 million grant program, which doled out cash for projects that would promote healthy lifestyles.

According to Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett, who met with members of village council and arena staff today, the Canal Flats grant is likely the largest given to any community in B.C.

The cash will help pay for a new floor, foundation repairs, insulating the building, mechanical upgrades and — if funds remain after that — renovations to the arena’s dressing rooms. In addition to the $800,000, the village has also set aside about $100,000 and is hoping to secure the same amount from the Columbia Basin Trust to cover the remaining costs.

Work will likely begin in 2013, so any construction delays won’t disrupt the winter 2012 activities at the arena.

For more details, check the March 28 edition of The Valley Echo.

Invermere Valley Echo

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