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

Paintings by Syrian father and son end long journey at VISAC Gallery in Trail

The paintings on display at the VISAC Gallery in Trail have been through a lot

Thoughtexchange asks Rossland Council to support mixed-use on midtown lands site

A representative from Thoughtexchange attended Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Rossland remembers

Hundreds gathered for Remembrance Day ceremonies Saturday on Rossland’s main street.

Seven Summits celebrates grand opening

“Over 1,000 volunteer hours went into this renovation.”

Seven Summits Centre for Learning in Rossland receives $5,000 for robotics program

The local learning centre has received $5,000 from Telus for a robotics program.

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

B.C. groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

B.C. VIEWS: China a better partner than U.S.

B.C. is slowly winning the softwood lumber war

Forecast calls for a snowy Canadian winter

Canadians told to brace for a ‘classic’ Canadian winter with lots of snow

Most Read