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Sicamous committee supports ongoing partnership with Shuswap Trail Alliance

Since 2020, projects of significance for Sicamous valued at $1,531,470
The Sicamous Creek Falls Trail is one of many Sicamous area trails managed and protected by the Shuswap Trail Alliance, which seeks to renew its funding agreement with the district. (File photo)

The Sicamous finance committee is recommending that council support continued funding to the Shuswap Trail Alliance (STA), in keeping with the district’s tag line of “Explore More.”

STA executive director Jen Bellhouse attended the Nov. 22 meeting to request a four-year renewal of the funding agreement with the district, with the current contract expiring at the end of December. The organization is asking for $6,020 annually, up slightly from the previous $5,300, as well as an increase to account for the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

That had been set to a maximum of two per cent but due to recent inflation. Bellhouse asked it be bumped up to five per cent – in keeping with Salmon Arm’s funding agreement. That CPI percentage will be applied after the first year and added to the funding in 2025-2027.

Sicamous’ contribution is still one of the lowest among stakeholders, with Salmon Arm and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District both paying $50,000, Enderby and area at $11,975 and Chase bringing up the rear at $1,605.

In her presentation, Bellhouse included an update on the STA’s work and showing how the district benefits from it. Since 2020, projects of significance for the Sicamous area are valued at $1,531,470, with the district funding just over $22,000 of that while the STA and in-kind contributions covered the remainder. She went on to outline the priorities for the upcoming four years, including the proposed bike park in Sicamous.

“We are still working really hard to nudge the province to approve the Owlhead Bike Park,” Bellhouse said. “I know that that has seemed like not much has been happening, but I feel like this might be the year we see some movement.”

The committee expressed its appreciation of the STA’s work and supported the ask, including the higher CPI maximum. The request will be going to the next council meeting for approval.

About the Author: Heather Black

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