Proposed multi-use facility at Wycliffe still in works
Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors Feb. 8 agreed to keep the ball rolling regarding the establishment of a multi-use indoor facility at Wycliffe Exhibition Grounds.
The board unanimously agreed to direct RDEK staff to consult with “the equestrian user groups regarding their ability and willingness to support a fee structure that would support cost recovery of an indoor multi-use facility at Wycliffe Exhibition Grounds” and prepare a report for the board to consider.
The concept of such a facility has been alive since 2014 and in 2017 the Pine Ridge Roping Club obtained study funding support and the result showed it would cost an estimated $2,952,040 to build an indoor arena.
A second feasibility study was completed for the RDEK that said it would cost $1.25 million, and Columbia Basin Trust approved $250,000 in funding support for the facility in July (2018).
The reduced cost estimate was based on the removal of some features such as heating and insulation.
The executive summary of the second study, by Stillwater Consulting Ltd., stated, “The demand and interest for equine programming among residents of the East Kootenay far exceeds the current capacity of community resources, and the absence of nearby indoor facilities creates additional serious risk for those who travel during winter.
Such a facility would be used by more than equine groups, the summary also pointed out.
Electoral Area C Director and Board Chair Rob Gay stated in a July 31, 2018 letter to the Pine Ridge Roping Club that he supported its grant funding application.
“In my opinion, a new covered, multi-use arena would compliment improvements that exist on our (RDEK’s) property,” he said, noting such a new facility “would add many new recreation and economic opportunities for our residents and local and regional businesses.”
Gay also said in his letter the RDEK “will also consider making a sizeable financial contribution toward this important project.”
See the RDEK staff report:
– Ian Cobb/e-KNOW