In unanimous votes, both Golden’s Town Council and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) Board of Directors agreed to allocate the $1.7 million Whitetooth Ski Hill Legacy Fund towards two community recreation projects for Golden and Electoral Area A residents. Fifty per cent will be allocated to the construction of a multi-use outdoor sports space adjacent to the Mount 7 Rec Plex in accordance with the Town of Golden's Rec-Plex Parks Plan, and 50 per cent towards the Golden and Area A Indoor Aquatic Centre, pending a successful referendum planned for October 15, 2022.
In addition to the use of funds from the Whitetooth Ski Hill Legacy Fund, Council endorsed $131,049 for each project from the Economic Opportunity Fund (EOF) for a total of $1 million allocated to the Rec-Plex Park and $1 million to the proposed aquatic centre. These EOF funding recommendations will now be advanced to the CSRD Board of Directors for consideration.
“This is very exciting for our community,” said Mayor Ron Oszust. “I’ve been involved in conversations around the Whitetooth Legacy Fund for many years and both projects meet the spirit and intent of the fund. On behalf of Council, we can’t wait to see how the continued work on the Rex-Plex Park will serve our entire community and provide opportunities for a multitude of sports and activities for years to come, and we look forward to hearing from residents this fall through the CSRD’s aquatic centre referendum.”
The Town’s Rec-Plex Parks Plan includes the expansion that will double the size of the skatepark, a new outdoor rink and basketball court, brand new dedicated tennis and pickleball courts, the pump track, active play structures and other outdoor amenities. Since 2020, more than $860,000 in grants and donations have helped fund park improvements, including grants for the pump track, outdoor rink and basketball courts and conceptual park plan. The combined value of this project upon completion is an estimated $2 million dollars. The allocation of Whitetooth Legacy Funds and EOF funding would bring the project’s current budget up to $1.86 million. Work is currently underway on resurfacing the outdoor rink and basketball courts and the skatepark expansion is expected to start later this summer.
“It is really gratifying to see both the CSRD Board of Directors, and the Town of Golden Council come together in unanimous agreement to financially support the proposed indoor aquatic centre and the Rec-Plex Park,” says Electoral Area A Director Karen Cathcart. “This substantial funding commitment for the proposed indoor aquatic centre will provide the leveraging needed for additional grant applications. We appreciate the Town of Golden’s tangible pledge of support to the indoor aquatic centre planning process as it moves towards the fall referendum.”
Residents of Golden and Electoral Area A will head to the polls on October 15, 2022, with an assent vote on a proposed replacement of the outdoor pool owned by the Town of Golden with a modern indoor aquatic centre attached to the existing ice arena in Golden. The indoor aquatic centre would include a six-lane 25m lap pool, a separated leisure pool, lazy river, tots’ area, hot tub, sauna, steam room, multi-purpose room and a large lobby space intended as a community hub. The pool will be designed to a Zero Carbon Building Standard to minimize the carbon footprint of the building and reduce operating costs. The $35 million dollar capital project will be offset with a $17 million dollar fundraising campaign that will include federal/provincial and local grants, CSRD contributions and local donations. The referendum will seek approval of the electors for the remaining $18 million dollars to be borrowed as a loan to be repaid over 30 years.
The CSRD has allocated over $1.3 million dollars to the project and is currently applying for more than $8.5 million dollars in federal and provincial grants. The Columbia Valley Credit Union has also collaborated with the CSRD to accept pledges from interested donors.
The Whitetooth Ski Hill Legacy Fund Bylaw is designed to support projects in Golden and Electoral Area A such as new recreation facilities, community parks, multi-use facilities, cultural and historical facilities, trails such as Nordic, cycling, walking, snowmobile, or any other project that meets the spirit and intent of the fund.
Find more information on the Skatepark Expansion Project, including the Rec-Plex Parks Plan.
Detailed information on the Golden and Area Indoor Aquatic Centre, including making a pledge, is available at the Golden On Deck website.