The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has donated $12,500 towards the project to resurface the track near Lakes District Secondary School (LDSS) in Burns Lake.
The bank presented the donation at its 100-year anniversary celebration of the branch on Aug. 8.
Before that financial contribution, there had been about $25,000 raised for the resurfacing bid, as Mike Skinner, Assistant Superintendent of School District 91 (SD91) told Lakes District News.
The track is owned by SD91, which in principle supports the project and is holding the funds in trust.
The past few weeks have seen increased funding activity for the resurfacing plan.
At its July 18 board of directors meeting, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako pledged a $6,000 grant in aid to the Burns Lake and District Seniors Society for the track scheme.
And for several weeks, a sign has been posted on the fence at the LDSS track welcoming donations of $20 per square metre.
The scheme has been under consideration since last year, when a group of residents including Sandra Barth, Bernice Magee and Kay Saul wrote a letter to the village council announcing a desire to resurface the track with asphalt. Several aspects of the heavily-used track pose problems such as the drainage structure which causes water to pool and form icy patches in the fall and spring; and the gravel raises mobility issues for users with buggies and canes, and for cyclists, the group said in their letter.
The total cost for the project – to be contracted out to LB Paving in Smithers – has risen to $150,000-$175,000, from the earlier estimate of $100,000, Skinner said.
“The group is asking for a refreshed quote. But [the quote] could change. LB Paving has been a good group to work with. Their pricing has been quite good.”
LDSS plans to hold an event at the track in late September to raise more awareness of the resurfacing.
“This is a good project for the community. Being hilly, there aren’t a lot of safe places to walk [in Burns Lake]. And for people with physical challenges it resonates that it’s a worthwhile partnership. That track has numerous community partnerships – the irrigation of the grass was a partnership with the village, and the lighting a few years ago, the washroom was a partnership with the village. It’s really a community spot.”
It is hoped the project can begin in the spring of 2020.