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‘State of the Art’ skateboarding coming to Creston

John Boivin Local Journalism Initiative
By John Boivin Local Journalism Initiative
May 25th, 2017

It’s going to be one heck of a skateboard park.

The Regional District of the Central Kootenays has approved borrowing up to $1 million to help finance a ‘state of the art’ skateboard park in Creston.

Area C Director Larry Binks moved the recommendation at the May meeting of the RDCK board- though he admits, he’s not exactly sure how you spend a million dollars on a skateboard park.

“Asking me about a skateboard park is like trying to feed oats to a dead horse,” joked Binks, who chairs the Creston Valley Services Committee. “I know nothing about them.”

But Binks says he did know the best way to build a new park: to let skateboarders and the public decide on what it should include.

“We as politicians stayed out of it,” he says. “We had a consultant come in, the consultant is a 40-year-old who still skateboards, and they looked at it. And we engaged the community, we engaged skateboarders.”

Creston’s aging skateboard park closed permanently last year due to safety concerns.

Binks says besides the usual rails and ramps, the million dollars will pay for ‘a whole lot of accessories’, including lighting and cameras for security and parental monitoring.

“Kids can be up there safe, be using the skateboard park in the afternoon or evening while their parents use the pool or the rink,” he says. “So it makes it more inclusive, more family-oriented.”

The new park will be located on a field adjacent to the recreation centre that is being underused.

“As we move forward, we’ll move to the green space, we’ll [make the area] wheelchair accessible, we’ll go to the park, we’ll [add] to the playground, till that whole field on the east side of the rec centre is completed,” he says. “It will make it functional, from the soccer field to the skateboard park.

“Nobody is losing anything, everyone is gaining something,” he says.

The Columbia Basin Trust put up seed money for the project. Binks says the RDCK’s million dollars also acts as leverage, giving them access to federal and provincial funds for the other improvements to the field. The RDCK plans to apply for a $3.2 million Strategic Priorities Fund grant for the project, he says.

Binks says in the end, local taxpayers will only pay a small part of the cost of the improvements.

The project could take 2-3 years to complete, but could be done sooner if all the funding comes through.

Categories: General

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