Tulameen’s Raise the Roof project could provide the regional district with an example of how future projects of this kind could best be carried out in the region.
The community of Tulameen really seems to have gotten their act together over this project – and so far, it appears that mimimal government involvement in the construction of a roof over the community’s ice surface has been the most helpful way regional government could involve itself in the project.
Residents were responsible for tracking down, applying for and receiving the grant funding as well as for putting together a workable plan of in-kind and volunteer labour that would make the project affordable.
The Regional District Okanagan – Similkameen provided the necessary government oversight to allow the grant money to flow from one government level to another, then essentially got out of the way to let the volunteers get on with it.
The regional district board even unanimously approved the Raise the Roof committee’s Request For Proposal at a recent board meeting, in spite of some directors apprehension over its unusual nature in being a mixture of contracted help, volunteer, in-kind and donated labour.
More recently, the board also agreed to allow the project to keep interest earned on the grant money that was sitting in regional district accounts since last year – a savvy request on the part of the Raise the Roof Committee that also has prompted the board to look at its policy regarding interest earnings on grant money.
We sincerely hope that Tulameen residents will be skating at their new rink under a new roof this winter. If so, it will provide a shining example of what a small community can achieve when it collectively puts its mind to it.
It will also provide a shining example of an effective role the regional district can play in making these projects happen – by knowing when to involve itself, and when to let the citizens of the regional district help themselves.