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

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

Okanagan team bows out early at B.C. baseball championships

The SOMBA Tigers U18 AAA squad lost its first two games at the provincials

Laugh out loud Okanagan theatre group production

The St. Andrew’s Players production of Drinking Habits hits the stage Aug. 23 for nine shows

Kelowna Rockets prepare for biggest rookie camp in years

The 2019 rookie camp starts Aug. 19 with over 150 players

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Good morning bats! Salmon Arm office receives surprise visit by winged critters

Pair of bats found huddled together on wall in the sun outside downtown office

Retrieved body from Okanagan Lake identified as missing kayaker

Zygmunt Janiewicz had been missing since May and was recovered Aug. 10

Most Read