Midway and Greenwood score grants from the province

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
March 25th, 2012

News on funding proposal decisions for recreation improvements across the Boundary region came through this week with the Village of Midway and the City of Greenwood coming up as winners.

The Village of Midway will receive $400,000 from the Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development’s Community Recreation Program to help fund a project to expand and upgrade the Midway Arena, while the City of Greenwood will receive $263,200 to upgrade the existing ball field into a multi-purpose playing field.

 Midway mayor Randy Kappes and Greenwood mayor Nipper Kettle were both pleased with the awards.

“It has become increasingly difficult for Midway to keep the arena open as the out of date dressing rooms resulted in declining usage, this along with the current economic situation made justifying expensive upgrades impossible,” said Kappes.“With the $400,000 grant that … we can now ensure that the entire West Boundary can help our kids maintain healthy life styles into adulthood.

“As a young teen my local arena was where I found the self confidence and active lifestyle that helped make me proud of who I am today. Upon moving to Midway in 1998 I became involved in my new community by helping coach the local Midget team and instilling the same values in the next generation of kids. Who knows it may even be that extra amenity that convinces a young family that the West Boundary is the right place to bring up their kids.”

The Midway project will construct a 2,800 square foot addition that will house four new dressing rooms and upgrade the arena lighting. The arena currently has four small dressing rooms which make it difficult to accommodate more than two teams at a time, especially with co-ed players. Lack of dressing room space restricts the scheduling of ice time and use of the arena for tournaments and out-of-town rentals. 

With the proposed expansion, the Village will be able to increase usage of the facility by hosting more hockey and figure skating events. New lights will provide the Village with a 40 per cent reduction in lighting energy consumption. 

“If you’ve ever played hockey, or have kids that play, you know a good community arena needs more than just an ice surface, but also lights and decent dressing rooms. With more co-ed teams, this will make life at the rink easier and better for everyone involved,” commented  Boundary-Similkameen MLA John Slater.

Through recent community consultation, residents of Greenwood expressed their wish for additional recreation amenities. The city’s existing ball field property located in the centre of town will be upgraded to accommodate, in addition to the ball field, a soccer pitch, bocce/lawn bowling, walking track and small washroom/concession building. The existing bleachers and baseball dugouts will be replaced. 

“On behalf of Greenwood, residents we are extremely excited to have been awarded this $263,200 for our Community Recreation grant application. This project will increase the recreation opportunities for all ages in our city,” added Kettle.

$30 million will go to 98 projects throughout the province to help build healthier communities and provide important amenities to support B.C. families. The program was announced in September of last year and communities scrambled to submit proposals.

While this news was welcomed by Greenwood and Midway, regional projects were not winners in this grants round including the proposed trail paving between Grand Forks and Christina Lake, and the pedestrian bridge at the lake.

George Longden, chair of the Grand Forks Trails Society, said they will continue to try to put together funding for their project.

 For more information on the Community Recreation program, go to:  http://www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/infra/infrastructure_grants/community_recreation_program.htm

Categories: GeneralPoliticsSports