PARK PROGRESS Tilley Memorial Park in Canal Flats has received substantial funding for upgrades. File photo

PARK PROGRESS Tilley Memorial Park in Canal Flats has received substantial funding for upgrades. File photo

Thanks to funding from local and federal organizations, the Village of Canal Flats is now in the process of planning a variety of major upgrades to Tilley Memorial Park.

On July 29th, Western Economic Diversification Canada, a branch of the Government of Canada, announced it would be providing $85,000 for Tilley Memorial Park upgrades as part of the Canada 150 Infrastructure Program.

Days later, Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) announced $42,500 worth of funding, leaving the village with $72,500 to pay from tax dollars to foot the budgeted $200,000 bill.

Tilley Memorial Park is the Crown Jewel of our community and this funding will help us make necessary improvements to our beach for the benefit of locals and visitors alike, mayor Ute Juras said.

Chief administrative officer Brian Woodward said he is not done applying for funding to further save the village money. Mr. Woodward has recently sent an application to Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust asking for $25,000, which would lower the taxpayer bill to $47,500.

Tilley Memorial Park is always high on councils priority list… however, we always hope that improvements do not have to be funded by the taxpayers alone, Ms. Juras said. It is always great getting funding from multiple sources.

In originally applying for the funding, Mr. Woodward created a breakdown of where the money would go. Ultimately, after council consultation, it was deduced that upgrades would occur to six key areas of Tilley Memorial Park.

Thirty thousand dollars will be spent on three new docks. Mr. Woodward said that, currently, boaters can be stuck waiting up to two hours to get out on the water during busy weekends.

More docks will allow better timing for people to load and unload their boats, he said.

An additional $30,000 will be spent to replace the parks two outhouses with washrooms. To support the washrooms, sewer facilities will be built for an additional $30,000.

According to Mr. Woodward, having actual washrooms will fix another current logistical problem.

There will be enough room so that people can change since there are not changing rooms at this point, which is pretty essential, Mr. Woodward said.

For $10,000, the village will complete the ongoing table building project. Mr. Woodward said there are five more tables to build and another five that need to be upgraded.

The parks play area will undergo a significant improvement with a quarter of the total projects budget. To complete this part of the project, council and community members will join forces to create a joint committee, which will decide what is needed to improve the experiences of children at the park.

We just installed a new dock in the play area, Mr. Woodward said. There is only four or five feet of water, so the kids can jump off the dock, but quite a few parents have asked for something more.

Finally, $50,000 will be dedicated to improving parking, which Mr. Woodward said has been a significant obstacle in the past.

The parking upgrade is a major overall review of the entire parking area, which will help the local community by a substantial amount, because on busy weekends, all of the parking stalls get filled and all of the trailer stalls get filled, Mr. Woodward said.

To meet the conditions set out by the Canada 150 Infrastructure Program, all upgrades must be completed by March 2018. Ms. Juras said the upgrades will be significant and noticeable to anyone who has visited Tilley Memorial Park in the past.

The improvements will benefit both locals and visitors as they will make use of the park more comfortable and enjoyable, Ms. Juras said.