Fort St. John to apply for Canada 150 funding

Artist rendering of the proposed refurbishment for the Fort St. John spray park. Photo by Urban Systems

Fort St. John will apply for federal funding to help with its plan to refurbish the city’s spray park.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, councillors voted unanimously to apply to the federal Canada 150 Community Infrastruture fund for $320,000, or half of the project’s total cost of $870,000.

Improvements for the park call for a “nature theme,” with two splash pads for children under five years of age, and another for older children. The updates would include a boardwalk and boulder-style seating, shade structures, an ice skating ribbon, along with a washroom and change room building. A concept drawing also calls for a small skate park, and other landscaping improvements.

Community Services Manager Wally Ferris told council the project was the best project to fund after staff examined projects in the city’s five year capital plan.

The park, which has been open for 13 years, is suffering from ongoing maintenance issues, Ferris said. Features of the park are “obsolete” and need significant repairs, said Ferris.

“This project’s been on the go for a couple of years,” he said.

“With the growth of community and some of other factors, we’re looking at really expanding this and something that will last another 15 or 20 years.”

The Canada 150 fund was announced earlier this year, earmarking $150 million for community infrastructure across the country ahead of the country’s 150th anniversary of confederation in 2017.

The city will pitch in half the funds for the refurbishment and hopes to reclaim $30,000 in rebates for installing a new recycled rube surface at the park.