At the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) board meeting on May 19, Directors voted to support the allocation of 50 per cent of the $1.7 million Whitetooth Ski Hill Legacy Fund towards the proposed indoor aquatic centre in Golden.
The board has also assigned $550,000 of the Economic Opportunity Funds (EOF) for 2022 and $325,000 from the Golden and Electoral Area A EOF for both 2023 and 2024, to be utilized towards the construction of the facility.
It’s the second time in two months that board directors have voted to fund the project, previously supporting allocating $496,417 from the sale of the CSRD’s portion of the Golden Visitor Centre property, which sold in 2019.
This means that the CSRD has now conditionally committed more than $2.5 million towards the project, which comes with a price tag of approximately $35 million.
This funding will be leveraged for grant applications that will help fund construction of the facility.
Final allocation of the funds now rests with the Town of Golden Council, as their approval is required before the funding plans are approved.
Town Council will meet June 7 to decide whether they will support the recommendations already endorsed by the CSRD.
The referendum on whether or not the facility will be built will be held on Oct. 15, 2022, in conjunction with the CSRD and municipal elections. The referendum question is set to be chosen by mid June.
Currently the project is in the fundraising stage, which will help determine the amount of taxpayer borrowing required to construct the facility.
The CSRD approved the hiring of a consultant to develop and deliver the strategy and campaign for the facility in November 2021, with KEA Canada Ltd. has been hired, with an initial allocation of $100,000.
The referendum question is still to be determined. It will be announced later in 2022, once more information has been obtained through this phase of the project.
The proposed site contains the arena, curling rink (both to remain) and the current outdoor pool (to be removed).
According to the technical briefing from HCMA Architecture + Design, over $1.3 million in repairs and replacements will be required by 2026 for the current outdoor pool, which was built in 1978.
Community engagement kicked off in 2020 and has been ongoing for over a year, with an interactive online survey and open houses for information and feedback.
The entire report, as well as other documents, can be viewed at the goldenondeck.ca website.
The remaining 50 per cent the legacy fund will be used for the construction of a multi-use outdoor sport space adjacent to the Mount 7 Rec Plex.
The Board also supported the allocation of $250,000 from the EOF for 2022 to be used for the construction of the recreation space next to the Mount 7 Rec Plex.