The City of Salmon Arm is applying for a federal active transportation grant with the intention of completing a multi-use pathway along 16th Street NE from the high school to the RCMP building. (City of Salmon Arm image)

The City of Salmon Arm is applying for a federal active transportation grant with the intention of completing a multi-use pathway along 16th Street NE from the high school to the RCMP building. (City of Salmon Arm image)

Salmon Arm to apply for funds for multi-use path from high school to RCMP building

City chooses 16th Street NE project for grant application because it’s ‘shovel ready’

The City of Salmon Arm will be applying to the federal government for funds to build a multi-use pathway along 16th Street NE.

Faced with a grant funding opportunity with a tight deadline of March 31 from the Building Canada Active Transportation Fund, city staff reviewed several possible projects.

Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works, said a three-metre-wide multi-use path on 16th Street NE from 10th Avenue to 11th Avenue was already in the 2022 budget, totalling $205,000.

“This project is Phase 1 of a planned 3-Phase project to replace the deteriorating sidewalk on the north side of the roadway from the intersection of 16 Street & 6 Avenue NE (high school) to 20 Street & 11 Avenue NE (RCMP Station)…” he wrote in a staff report.

“This route is identified in the Official Community Plan as a key corridor within our Cycle Network…”

Niewenhuizen said the cost share for the grant is 60 per cent up to $50 million, which he described as “a very large fund.” The fund is to help support a shift away from cars and toward active transportation in support of Canada’s National Active Transportation Strategy.

Staff noted the 16th Street project increases connectivity between schools, downtown, the recreation centre, etc., making it a good fit for the active transportation grant.

Because staff thought there would be ‘more bang for the dollar’ in requesting funds for a ‘shovel-ready’ project rather than for planning dollars, and because 16th Street NE has long been talked about in terms of its importance, staff decided to apply for funding for all three phases.

Read more:Salmon Arm moves toward active transportation for many more residents

The total cost for the project would be $605,000, so the city would request $360,000 from the federal grant.

The city’s contribution would be the $205,000 already budgeted, plus $40,000 from the cenotaph intersection realignment project. Niewenhuizen said the city doesn’t have enough funds for the cenotaph project at this time as the cost was under-estimated.

Coun. Tim Lavery commended staff for having a project ready for a grant application with so little time, noting it’s an advantage of having an official community plan. He said it’s clear the time-frame for shovel-ready projects is getting smaller so it’s good the city is ready to move forward.

Coun. Sylvia Lindgren said it’s exciting to see the possibility of having projects council has wanted to get done proceeding.

She asked if it would be a good time to get funds for the Lakeshore multi-use path, which was talked about during discussions of redoing Lakeshore to mitigate water risks there.

Read more: Two-way Lakeshore plus multi-use path gets Salmon Arm council’s nod

Niewenhuizen said it was considered but it is just in the initial design stage, so there isn’t anything ready to build.

“We didn’t feel we’d get value for that.”

Lindgren said she would hate to see the window close, but Mayor Alan Harrison noted grants often have second and third intakes which could be a possibility for Lakeshore.

He said he very much supports the project staff have chosen, as it’s been discussed often with the active transportation task force as well as the public, and density is growing steadily in the area.

When it came time for a vote, council supported the 16th Street NE grant application unanimously.



martha.wickett@saobserver.net
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