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

Rossland’s Seven Summits school gets grant to grow global presence

Centre for Learning hopes to triple the number of international students it has

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

Rossland skiier places third at U19 Canadian Ski Cross

Rossland’s Sage Stefani finished out a successful season.

Warfield elementary school celebrating 70 years

Webster Elementary School officially opened April 23, 1949; open house and events planned next week

Exhausted Rossland skateboard volunteers pass torch to city council

Organization asks council to take over project

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Most Read