Phoenix Ski Hill receives government grant

Erin Perkins
By Erin Perkins
March 15th, 2012

Phoenix Mountain Alpine Ski Society (PMASS) will be receiving at $47,000 Community Gaming Grant from the provincial government this spring.

The money is welcome, but will really only dig PMASS out of last year’s debt and not help with what is to come for the 2012-2013 ski season, said Don Colclough, society president.

“It’s great. What this means is that we’ll start next year without being in debt,” said Colclough. “We’re really very happy about it.”

But we still need an ongoing source of sustainable funding to count on from the Regional District.

Over the past four years, PMASS counted on an annual contribution of $47,000 from the provincial Community Gaming Grant fund. Last year that funding ceased for certain non-profit organizations including PMASS. Since having a review of the gaming grant system, the provincial government has decided to reinstate that funding to a number of non-profits they had been excluding.

Over the past few months Colclough has been visiting various local government bodies looking for a sustainable financial commitment. Without funding in place they can count on, and a projected $89,694 shortfall this year, PMASS may have to close the popular hill.

Ideally the society wants an annual $60,000 service agreement with the Regional District Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) so they can plan for future infrastructure needs and growth.

RDKB Area D and Area E are behind getting the ski hill some stable locally sourced funding but are waiting to see what the City of Grand Forks will be committing to.

“We’re waiting on the city to go ahead (before deciding on what our financial committments will be),” said Area D director Irene Perepolkin. “The ski hill needs secure funding in place.”

The City of Grand Forks has two public budget meetings planned this month. On Monday, March 19 there will be a primary committee meeting where the city will introduce the proposed 2012-2016 Five Year Financial Plan at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers. A second presentation of the same plan will be held on Monday, March 26 at 6 p.m. in the same place.

“The ski hill will be there,” said Colclough.

There are 349 season pass holders this year for Phoenix Ski Hill. Of those, 191 are from area Area D, 115 from the City of Grand Forks, 17 from Area E and 27 from Area C. There are about 12,000 visits in the three months the hill is typically opened in a year, said Colclough.

The Phoenix Ski Hill season is coming to a close. The last event of the season is the Spring Fling on Sunday, April 1. For more information visit www.skiphoenix.com .

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