Council looks at new deal for bike skills park

City, volunteers hammering out details to manage a BMX bike skills park at Balment Park.

The city is looking at signing a new deal with a community organization to host a bike skills park in Balment Park just north of the skate park.

The organization — the Cranbrook Bike Skills Park Society — has a five-year deal expiring next summer and are looking to re-up with the city. However, city staff have been concerned with ongoing maintenance and liability issues with the park moving forward.

But councillor Isaac Hockley noted that there have been some turnover on the Society board and there is a push to develop a BMX track and a smaller bike jump area.

“They’re going to remodel the whole bike park, it’s going to be a BMX bike course now with some other jumps and clean up the area,” said Hockley.

“…I’m quite excited about this. I’ve thrown events in that park and I’ve used the former bike jumps and to see a BMX park come in, I just see it opening up to a lot more grants. It’s an Olympic sport and I’ve seen how well it’s done in the Kootenays with that circuit through Western Canada.”

Before a new License of Occupation is signed, staff are reviewing a number of conditions, such as hours of operation, a maintenance schedule and capabilities and safety signage, according to Chris New, the Leisure Services director.

“They raise the funds, we work very closely with them for signage and rules, so those type of things will still be in effect.

“…We have had challenges with the existing park not looking very clean and that’s part of the agreement with the current park and within the new park, so we kind of have to do a little more staying-on-top of those type of things.”

New added that signage will mitigate the city’s liability risk if anyone gets injured while riding around the track.

In order for the new agreement to proceed, the Society needs to sign off on the city’s terms.