KEYSA, BMX society praise council pledge to cover track costs

A joint statement from a youth soccer association and a local BMX society is lauding a recent city council decision which pledged to cover costs to rebuild a track in Balment Park that may be affected by the construction of an indoor sports facility.

Council voted earlier this year to offer land at Balment Park to the Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association (KEYSA) for the indoor sports facility, however, concerns arose that the building footprint may infringe on an existing BMX track.

While the city voted to cover the cost of the track reconstruction, it also accepted a $10,000 donation from KEYSA of cash or in-kind services to be used towards rebuilding the BMX course.

“The combined effort of KEYSA and the BMX Society working closely has brought the best outcome for all who use the existing facility and the new facility,” reads the statement. “KEYSA will now look to the Cranbrook BMX association for guidance on how the $10,000 contribution can be made most valuable. KEYSA is excited to be able to move this project forward while still meeting tight deadlines for the grant funding. KEYSA will continue to work closely with user groups, the BMX society and other organizations to be able to offer new opportunities within Balment and continue in a spirt of cooperation and community interest.

Voices around the council table during Monday’s meeting were hopeful that grant funding opportunities could be pursued to cover some of the track reconstruction costs,— a figure that is still under debate.

“Cranbrook BMX is grateful to Cranbrook City council for clarifying and assuming the financial responsibilities required to rebuild the Cranbrook BMX track,” continues the statement. “The next step will be to work with KEYSA and the City to develop a construction sequence that will see both projects constructed in Fall 2019. This collaboration will be the most efficient way to complete both projects in a timely manner.”

As per a letter from KEYSA that was included in Monday’s city council agenda, the responsibility of costs relating to the BMX track was one of the last outstanding issues in negotiations for a License of Occupation — a legal document that will permit the use of the parkspace for the indoor facility.

KEYSA has been fundraising for facility over the last two years and has secured roughly $1 million in donations and grants for construction that is set to being in the fall. It will be built, operated and maintained by the association at no cost to the taxpayer.

The facility itself is an air-supported dome that features 2,600 square metres of indoor heated floor space on artificial turf that can cater to a number of different sports besides soccer, such as baseball, lacrosse and football. Additional plans include using the space for trade shows, concerts and conventions.

Read the full statement below.

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