Telkwa is getting a boost from the regional district to complete much-needed upgrades to some of the village’s most-used recreational sites.
The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako has designated $100,000 from its annual gas tax fund to go toward recreational projects such as the Dockrill Memorial Rink and the baseball diamonds at the Telkwa Barbecue Grounds.
“We built a portable skateboard park that we put in the Dockrill rink and a lot of the kids in the regional district and the area use it. It was really well-used all summer,” said Mayor Carman Graf.
“It’s not just for the village, but it will also benefit people in the regional district.”
According to Graf, some of the funds will be used to replace the boards at the rink along with other maintenance issues. He also speculated they might be able to add a few ramps to the portable skate park.
The rest of the funding will be used to improve the baseball diamonds.
Both recreational sites are heavily used, but haven’t received upgrades in quite a few years.
“Not since I’ve been mayor — we haven’t had any money for recreation from the regional district for the Village of Telkwa,” said Graf, noting that they did receive funding for upgrades to the Telkwa Seniors Centre.
“The rink was busy from daylight to dark all summer. Depending on the winter, that rink will now be used pretty well 12 months of the year. Where before it was just used in the wintertime,” said Graf.
Stoney Stoltenberg, director with the district, said he hopes the extra cash will help the village get more grants from other government agencies.
“The idea was that if I gave them money to get them started that they could use for leverage,” said Stoltenberg. “This will give them money to get started. They can use it as seed money to get more grants which enable them to do even more work.”
Stoltenberg said Electoral District A or Smithers Rural gets roughly $270,000 a year from the gas tax money, adding that the new director elected Nov. 15 will have to decide where the remainder of the money gets allocated.