Fingers crossed for Miners’ Hall grant

City sending letters of support for library and museum

  • Thu Jun 11th, 2015 1:00pm
  • News

CHRIS STEDILE

Rossland News

Rossland’s historic Miners Hall will be receiving a much needed upgrade if the recent grant applications are deemed worthy enough.

As part of the Canada 150 grant, City council has decided to apply for funding from the federal government for renovations to the Miners Hall.

“We chose the Miners Hall as the City sponsored grant for the Canada 150, which is $150 million over two years,” said Mayor Kathy Moore.

This money is being distributed among communities in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

Other projects vying for support were the library, museum and a recreation space next to the upcoming skatepark — or a ‘greening’ of the Emcon lot.

Mayor Moore said in the end the Miners Hall was the project that best fit the criteria but the city will be sending letters of support for the upgrade projects being sought out by the library and museum. These two projects are eligible to apply on their own because they have leases with the City and the City will endorse their projects.

“The skatepark and the area up there — the greening of the Emcon lot — really didn’t meet the criteria for this grant but the Miners Hall really does because it’s an iconic and historic building. Being the first Miners Hall in all of Canada,” Moore added.

As for criteria and guidelines:

— Projects must be to rehabilitate, renovate, or expand existing community infrastructure

­­— Projects must be materially complete by March 31, 2018

— A grant cannot cover more than half the total costs of the project, up to a maximum of $500,000

— A grant will cover costs incurred and paid  from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2018

— Eligible applicants include local governments, and not-for-profit entities

The main issue with the greening of the Emcon lot was the first stipulation. As Moore put it, “To say that a winter ice rink and a couple of sheds can count as existing infrastructure is a big stretch.”

However, council is in favour of the idea of transforming the gravel lot and will continue to work with the Rossland Skatepark Association to help make this a reality.

Benefit for the community, gets a lot of public use and we’ll be restoring it to it’s original condition.

Furthermore, the Hall has seen the most funds raised for the project before the grants are even brought into the picture. Nearly 70 per cent of the required funds have already been accrued.

“What we need to do with that first is take a good look over the plans that were made for that site. There were studies done some time ago with ideas on what to do with [the Emcon lot] and this council needs to look at that and figure out if that’s what we really want to do.”

Moore said that the windows for these grants are actually quite narrow and they would like to work more closely with those involved with the skatepark so when a more fitting grant comes along, they’ll be prepared.

Surely the City could have sent applications for all projects but according to council that would only reduce the chances of all entries.

“If the City submitted multiple applications we would have to rank them and most likely only our number one priority would be seriously considered. Since the independent societies are submitting them, each will be judged on their own merits,” the Mayor added.

Back to the Miners Hall, council is optimistic those in charge of doling out the grant funding will see the Hall’s benefit to the community and recognize the amount of public use it sees.

Furthermore, the Hall has seen the most funds raised for the project before the grants are even brought into the picture. Nearly 70 per cent of the required funds have already been accrued. This is sure to sway the decision as well.

 

If all goes according to plan, the historic Miners Hall will be restored to its original glory in the near future.