Rossland denied downtown renewal grants

Rossland has been unsuccessful in its bid for federal grants to fund the Columbia-Washington renewal project.

Council will be facing tough choices to fund the project after the city was unsuccessful in attaining any of the more than $8 million in federal grants it had applied for to fund the Columbia-Washington project.

This year, the City of Rossland didn’t receive the biggest Christmas gift it had been hoping for: the $8 million in grants it applied for towards the Columbia-Washington project. The money, which would have covered the extent of the renewal project as it was laid out, would have come from federal grants.

At Monday night’s council meeting, Mayor Greg Granstrom spoke with disappointment of the news that he and city staff found out about on Friday.

“The government has let us know that the grant applications for Columbia-Washington have been turned down,” Granstrom said. “So what we will have to do now is work with ministry to see where we’re at.”

Granstrom said they don’t have a date set yet to talk with the Ministry of Transportation, which will have to commit its funds by the end of January.

“We have to come up with another plan,” the mayor added.

Coun. Jill Spearn said that the news was devastating, given that the city had been planning with the hopes of getting some sort of funding.

“This will turn this whole project upside down,” she said.

Spearn wondered if there was any rationale behind the decision given in the letter.

The mayor shook his head.

“There was no real statement in the letter,” Granstrom said. “There’s really no explanation. It’s very disappointing, but it doesn’t mean that it all dies. We just have to move in another direction for a while.”

The city and engineering firm ISL placed many items into the grant proposal that should have helped the project along.

Things like bump-outs and wider sidewalks as traffic calming measures, parallel parking on the main north block of Columbia and a large gas-fuelled fireplace that would warm those walking downtown.

The project originally began with the Ministry of Transportation wanting to repave Columbia, which is also part of Highway 3B.

The city saw an opportunity to replace aging infrastructure under Columbia and Washington at a time when the roads would need to be dug up anyway.

The need for the pipes to be replaced has long been known, with leaks happening due to the degenerating state of some that are as old as 105 years. In most cases it is the lead hinges that fail and cause the pipes to leak.

This in turn causes water to seep through the concrete or into properties.

Granstrom last week said the pipes need to be replaced regardless of the grants and council has heard ISL and city staff talk about the dangers of not fixing them.

Fixing them now would be a preventative measure, since the cost of fixing a burst pipe after the streets have been paved would be much more.

Without the grants, the project will likely be scaled down to a more modest renewal project.

 

Just Posted

Discussion centres on the future of English Grade 8 at RSS

Parents met with the principal to discuss the future of English Grade 8 at Rossland Summit School.

Rossland St. Andrew’s United Church planning for restoration

Rossland’s United Church has received a CBT grant to support a restoration of the Red Roof Church.

Interior Health facilities score high in housekeeping audits

Housekeeping audits for health facilities in the region show most are above the auditor’s benchmark.

RCMP urge drivers to be more cautious

The top causes of accidents in the West Kootenay are distracted driving, impaired driving and speed.

FortisBC explains rate change proposal

FortisBC met with customers in Castlegar to explain their new time-of-use rate proposal.

The 2018 B.C. Games wrap up in Kamloops

The B.C. Winter Games comes to a close after a weekend of fun and excitment

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Naval ship spills 30,000 litres of fuel in the Strait of Georgia

HMCS Calgary spilled fuel east of Nanaimo and Parksville on Saturday

B.C. boosts support for former youth in government care

More support coming for rent, child care and health care while they go back to school

Concert-goers unfazed by Hedley sexual misconduct allegations

Frontman Jacob Hoggard thanked fans from the ‘bottom of our hearts’ at Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre

Control, agility and grace take gymnastics stage at the B.C. Games

Athletes often made the sport seem effortless during the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games

Original B.C. Games participant-turned-sensei officiating 39 years later

Langley judo sensei was a competitor at the inaugural B.C. Winter Games 40 years ago

Police watchdog probes B.C. man’s taser death in alleged parental child abduction

Independent Investigations Office called in after one male dies

PHOTOS: Harnessing diverse abilities on the court at the B.C. Games

Basketball is one of two Special Olympics events at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Most Read