Group considering smaller skateboard park if funding falls through

Columbia Valley Skateboard Association looking at scaling back size of proposed new skateboard park in order to get it built this year.

The proposed 20,000-square-foot skateboard park (pictured) may be scaled back if funding doesn't come through.

The Columbia Valley Skateboard Association is looking at scaling back the size of their proposed new skateboard park in order to get it built this year.

Chris Payne, the vice president of the CVSA, told council the CVSA was looking at a 16,000-square-foot park, down from the original 20,000-square-foot design.

“That would be the minimal size to be acceptable for this to be considered a success,” he said during a meeting of the Committee of the Whole (COTW) on Thursday. “The skateboard population is increasing, usership is increasing and Revelstoke is growing so this would be the smallest size that would stand the test of time.”

The CVSA requested $225,000 in funding from the city in December in order to build the park in 2017 before a major grant expires. They also launched a fundraiser looking for $100,000 in private donations and are hoping to get another $225,000 from the Economic Opportunity Fund, which is controlled by the city and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.

The CVSA has raised about $500,000 so far and needs another $550,000 to build a 20,000-square-foot park this year.

The COTW looked at a report from Laurie Donato, the city’s director of parks and recreation, outlining three options for council — they could agree to the request and allocate the money to the CVSA, they could budget a lesser amount, or they could not fund the project at all.

“Allocating any additional city funds to this project will mean that other projects will be deferred or eliminated from the 2017-2021 financial plan,” she wrote.

About a dozen local skateboarders attended the meeting to demonstrate support for the project.

Mayor Mark McKee seemed supportive of the skateboard park, but also noted the city is facing numerous budget challenges this year. “It’s going to be tough and I’m not going to mislead the committee by saying everything looks great because I don’t know how everything looks,” he said. “My early indications are it’s not going to look great.”

Donato’s report notes construction on the park probably won’t start until late summer or early fall, meaning it would likely wouldn’t be finished until 2018. That led McKee to suggest the money could be budgeted over two years. “That takes the sting off $225,000,” he said.

Councillor Scott Duke expressed support for the project.

“This is what makes communities great, is having assets like this,” he said. “In the OCP process, when you go to the youth of the community, this came back as number one, bar none. It’s something we need to consider moving forward.”

Payne said a 16,000 square foot park would cost about $850,000.

The COTW said they would look at the request during budget discussions, which are scheduled to begin at the next COTW meeting on Feb. 9.

After the meeting, Karl Jost, the president of the CVSA, said they haven’t worked on a design for a smaller park yet and that they’re going to wait for all funding decisions to be made before doing so.

“We’ll do it closer to the point we know exactly where our budget is, and then we can deal with it,” he said.

Revelstoke Times Review

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