Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
And there is plenty of smoke coming from the city’s skateboard park project volunteers as they continue to nail down the funding required for the $600,000 park.
The fire is also burning, with several pokers placed out into the community with various financial sources to close the $220,000 gap the Rossland Skatepark Association (RSA) feels it has before construction can begin.
RSA volunteer Aaron Cosbey said the funding pieces are falling into place—with $80,000 of the $300,000 in cash already in the bank—and construction could still be on pace to begin in spring of 2014.
He estimated RSA would be able to secure around $200,000 out of the total estimated budget for the park through in-kind contributions—and some community partners have already verbally declared an intention to be on board, Cosbey said.
In-kind donations are promised through several local businesses while some contractors and suppliers and ready to get on board.
“So when that (funding) is in place it will be a draw. It’s a beautiful park. You’ll have people coming not just from Rossland but skate tourism throughout the Kootenays,” he said. “We’re optimistic we’ll get there.”
The group will be meeting this week to finalize a fundraising strategy going into the fall. Everyone on the committee has their assignments in terms of talking to people about in-kind contributions.
There are bunch of irons in the fire, but the committee is looking for major grants rather than smaller fundraising efforts, given the amount of money they need to raise.
Cosbey said Teck Trail Operations and the Columbia Basin Trust (possibly around $50,000) could ante up some funds, as well as the Nelson and District Credit Union, the United Way and the City of Rossland through its Gas Tax Fund.
One of the guarantees RSA gave the nearby neighbours of the site was if it didn’t have enough money and its full budget to do all of what is contained in the design it would not proceed.
“So we promised them we would not do that, to ensure we potentially would not leave a project half finished,” he said.
The 15,000 square foot park (1,400 sq. metres) received approval by city council in August after a lengthy public process to create a design that suited the community, met the needs of the local skate population, and melded seamlessly into the Official Community Plan for design.
“This park needs to be more than just a skate park. This is a valuable lot. It’s a diamond, actually, and it’s sitting in the centre of Rossland on a nice level lot and we want it to be more—we want it to be a public area,” Cosbey said about the design.
Tending toward a bowl with a flowing transition from park to a plaza, the park will be constructed for skateboarding, scootering, inline skating and biking.
Once funding has been secured, the association will ask city council to consider the process of rezoning the lot for placement of the recreation facility (re-zoned to parks and open spaces).
If the spring deadline is not met TSA will have to go back to council and ask for an extension.