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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Vehicle crashes through carport in West Kelowna

The driver has been taken to hospital with minor injuries

PHOTOS: Okanagan residents capture epic lightning show

A look at some of the best shots of the storm on May 30

Big White Ski Resort to offer rebate for pass holders after early closure

Next year’s pass will include a 20 per cent rebate

‘No tick is a good tick’: Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

The foundation’s president said all ticks that attach to humans and pets can carry various diseases

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Arena served Summerland for 26 years

Warm winters meant short ice seasons in early 1950s

Most Read