Pemberton seeks cash for bike skills and skate park 

A bike skills and skate park in Pemberton could be a step closer to reality if it gets the needed cash from the federal and provincial governments.

The Village of Pemberton council voted in favour at their last council meeting (March 3) to apply to the Building Canada Fund for money towards a skateboard and bike skills park that could provide increased recreational opportunities for a community that has long desired them.

The park, according to a report to council, is fully supported by the community and neighbouring communities and could help "improve the health of Canadians and strengthen Canadian communities."

Once completed, it will be located on a lot just west of the new Pemberton Community Centre, where there's currently a parking lot.

"The skateboard society has been working on it for several years," said Lori Pilon, administrator for the Village of Pemberton. "I first saw it about three years ago when we developed the master plan for that lot, so it's been a long time coming and it'll be a good amenity for the community."

If this funding doesn't come through, she said, Pemberton is likely to keep on looking until it can get the park built.

The Building Canada Fund is a joint program through the federal and provincial governments that contributes $136 million from both bodies to help local governments with populations of less than 100,000 build or renew infrastructure.

Council has also applied for funding through the same program towards a Water Main Looping Program that could help better circulate water throughout the Village of Pemberton. The village doesn't currently have one, and that creates problems in cases where there's a water break within the system.

Last year, as the new community centre was being built, the public works department had to shut off water to half the community in order to loop water into the community centre. With a Water Looping program, it could simply be easier to move water around.

"If the water line was looped then it would just go around the other way," Pilon said. "You could just isolate the part. It's also good for fire flows as well and to keep the water moving in the lines. If you're at the end of the line, it could get stagnant, but if you've got looped lines, the water continues to move."

Council also supported a three per cent rise in both municipal taxes and water rates at the March 3 meeting. The increase was previously approved by the Village of Pemberton's finance committee, which decided to raise the rates at its Feb. 24 meeting.

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