Funding top-up paves way for Kovach Park skatepark completion in 2018

CVSA is confident it can raise $30,000 in funding to build the Kovach Park skatepark this building season.

A design image of the planned Kovach Park skatepark. The skatepark is currently being redesigned to a smaller 16,000 square foot park. Photo: concept model - New Line Skateparks

The Columbia Valley Skateboard Association says it’s pleased with the City of Revelstoke’s decision to find funding in the 2018 parks and recreation budget to help complete the skatepark project this year.

“It’s great to see council showing an understanding of how important this project is for Revelstoke,” said CVSA board member Mathieu Rebelo.

Revelstoke city councillors discussed the CVSA’s request for financial assistance at-length during a Jan. 25 committee of the whole budget meeting. The City of Revelstoke has agreed to help the Columbia Valley Skateboard Association find the remaining funds for the skatepark project, but it won’t come out of the Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation Legacy Fund. Instead, the city has agreed to find $40,000 in the 2018 parks and recreation budget and will provide a number of in-kind services if the CVSA isn’t able to find them through other sources. In-kind services would include a donation of $30,000 of gravel for the project and $23,000 for disposal of the concrete at the existing skatepark. The CVSA will still need to raise an outstanding $30,000 for the $957,000 project.

Councillor Linda Nixon vocally advocated for the project at a Jan. 25 city budget meeting. “This project should not come back to the table again after today. They’ve cut down the size scope of the park from 20 [thousand square feet] to 16 [thousand square feet],” said councillor Linda Nixon. “We need to do this today, and need to meet this budget. This is a parks and rec project for the community of Revelstoke.”

The skatepark project was hit with a number of last minute costs bringing the total budget to $897,390. These include a $68,000 city contractor project management fee and a $40,000 design fee. A $60,000 fee to put in a pump to pump water back to the storm drain system has been removed from the budget. Mike Thomas, city director of engineering, said he had been in discussion with BC Hydro and they had agreed to give approval for a drainage system to be run through the ditch system along the nearby dike.

“This is something that was being resolved over the last couple months. We found out early this week from Hydro it’s not a problem, they don’t have to install a pump. It’s disappointing this has gone out in public and we’re being criticized for this as an organization,” said Thomas.

In an interview with the Mountaineer, BC Hydro spokesperson Jennifer Walker-Larsen said they have agreed in principal from the start to allow for the drainage, but they will need to review the proposed designs.

Laurie Donato, director of parks, recreation and culture, said the $40,000 design fee has always been a part of the price tag.

“When we asked the designers to scale back the project, they broke down all the parts and broke down the design fee. It was the first time it clicked with the association that there was a design fee. It was always there it was just a hidden cost the design consultants had,” said Donato.

Rebelo said the CVSA is confident it can raise the $30,000 required and is looking potential in-kind donations.

Construction is scheduled to start in the spring after snow melt. A city budget document pegged the completion date at Oct. 1, 2018.

“We have a list of potential [in-kind] contributors. I think if we keep our efforts on fundraising we can get there,” he said. Among a series of upcoming fundraising event is a Feb. 10 silent auction and party at Traverse.