Rossland council took its first step in revitalizing RossGlen Park.
Council voted to apply to Columbia Basin Trust for an Outdoor Revitalization Grant, designed to support basin municipalities in creating or improving spaces for community gathering and programming.
The grant program will fund up to 75 per cent or a maximum of $650,000 for capital grants or projects that upgrade outdoor spaces.
According to the staff report, the city has received numerous complaints about the safety and state of RossGlen Park.
Council had looked at improvements in 2019 and considered accessing a grant for upgrades. However, council chose the downtown public washroom as the preferred project at that time, but funding for that project was unsuccessful in the first round.
Staff provided other options for this year’s application; in addition to RossGlen Park and the public washrooms, upgrades to Rossland Community Garden/Wetlands covered bike parking, shade structure and sitting area at Harry LeFever Square, a Pool Park Structure Upgrade, and an outdoor/portable stage were also considered.
Coun. Dirk Lews suggested an alternative to RossGlen Park improvements.
“I wouldn’t support the RossGlen one. It’s a lot of money from our coffers to do something that perhaps we don’t need to do right now. I would prefer to put forward number four, active transportation, covered parking in the square downtown.”
Since the advent of COVID-19, in its report staff acknowledged the growing need for offering the community an outdoor, covered location to run events and programs.
Coun. Janice Nightingale spoke in favour of the park, noting that the park’s play structures currently did not meet CSA (safety) guidelines, and its plans for upgrades and design had already been procured by staff.
“I quite like the RossGlen Park one,” said Nightingale.
“All the work was done in the spring of 2019, when it was first presented to us other than updating the costs, so it is essentially shovel ready.”
Nightingale also noted that it meets a growing demographic, as a 2016 census counted almost 700 children 14-and-under in Rossland, with a growth of about 10 per cent since then.
“Also, Lower Rossland is very neglected when it comes to children play areas,” added Mayor Kathy Moore.