Another request for a letter of support from the town for a grant application wound up with a non-unanimous decision.
At Smithers council’s regular meeting on Jan 10, The Bulkley Valley Cross-Country Ski Club (BVCCSC) asked the town for a letter of support to accompany its Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program (REDIP) grant application.
In a letter to council, BVCCSC said their application is centred around providing the “Best Nordic Trails in the North” which will expand and improve the trails at the BV Nordic Centre.
The club said the result will be a ski season that is longer and more reliable than any major Nordic facility north of Vernon, with a trail system that is among the top five in BC for diversity and length. With the grant, they will improve trail drainage, provide trail expansion and build a fun new adventure trail for kids and youths.
While a majority of councillors agreed to give them the letter, Coun. John Buikema dissented because the town is also applying to the same grant program and felt it supporting the club was a conflict of interest that could be to the detriment of the town’s application.
The same debate came up at council’s last meeting when two other community groups asked for letters of support to go with their REDIP applications.
Those groups also got a letter of support in the end with Buikema and Mayor Gladys Atrill voting nay on the skate park and Buikema, Atrill and Coun. Sam Raven opposed to the Cycle 16 request.
The Skate Park Society is looking for money to go toward Phase 2 of the skate park expansion and Cycle 16 is looking for grant money to pay for their detailed design drawings for Phase 3 of the Smithers to Telkwa multi-use trail.
The town is applying for $100,000 in funding to support economic development-related projects in 2023.