Grant funding moves Sicamous-to-Armstrong rail trail along

Funding will help with hiring of project manager for proposed 50-kilometre trail system

  • May. 10, 2019 2:10 p.m.

Plans for the development of a non-motorized trail connection from Sicamous to Armstrong are taking a leap forward with the announcement of a $500,000 BC Rural Dividend Grant to advance the project to the design phase.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), the Splatsin First Nation and the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) share a common vision for the recreational greenway, which would be a significant regional asset both for residents and visitors to enjoy. The proposed 50-kilometre trail would run along the west side of Mara Lake, through portions of the rail corridor previously purchased by Splatsin, and span the communities of Sicamous, Grindrod, Enderby, Spallumcheen and Armstrong.

Read more: Columbia Shuswap directors endorse rail trail funds

Read more: More than 200 land agreements complicate rail trail effort

Funding from this grant will be used to take the next steps. They include conducting environmental impact assessments, First Nations archaeological and cultural reviews, consulting with the agricultural community and developing engineering designs. Also in the works are updating lease, dock and access agreements with adjacent property owners, as well as planning work involving the regional districts, municipalities and provincial ministries.

The financial contribution will also allow for the hiring of a project manager, who will be tasked with engaging with professional consulting services and initiating public engagement into the trail design.

The BC Rural Dividend Program is designed to fund projects which support economic development and diversification in rural communities.

In order to secure this BC Rural Dividend Fund grant, a funding commitment was also required from grant applicants. In August 2018, the CSRD Board approved a commitment of $168,000 from the Sicamous and Area E Economic Opportunity Fund. The District of Sicamous funded the remaining $168,000 contribution. This local government seed money allowed the $500,000 application to proceed to the BC Rural Dividend Program.

This project is about connecting communities. It’s more than just the actual trail, but also in building the economic and tourism opportunities that will be a driver for the entire region. This grant is in total recognition of that… We are grateful for what this grant will do,” says Sicamous Mayor and CSRD Director Terry Rysz.

“What I’d also like to recognize is the spirit of collaboration here. There’s been financial support from many local governments and a serious amount of energy put in because we know what an opportunity this is for all of us,” he adds.

Read more: Okanagan resort seeking connection to rail trail

Read more: Okanagan Rail Trail a popular place

Additional grant applications of approximately $13 million have been made to federal government programs, with the outcomes still pending.

Once the design and planning has been completed, the project would be ready to move to the development and construction phase. This, however, remains dependent on future funding from the provincial and federal governments. If the federal grant application is successful, construction could start in 2020 and take approximately two years to complete.

At this time, the trail remains closed to the public.

The next meeting of the Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Trail Corridor Interjurisdictional Governance Advisory Committee will be May 17 at the CSRD Boardroom, 555 Harbourfront Drive, Salmon Arm.

Submitted


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Historic railway equipment moved to Revelstoke museum

The Selkirk Spreader was built specifically for Revelstoke in 1931 and retired in 2005

Columbia-Shuswap governments promised voice in caribou recovery

Population of Frisby-Boulder herd northeast of Sicamous at 11 animals and declining

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Climate protesters temporarily shut down road in downtown Kelowna

Protesters are demanding politicans take action to stop climate change

Vehicle taken by gunpoint in South Okanagan carjacking recovered

Penticton RCMP said the criminal investigation remains very active and ongoing

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

Most Read