Saanich council has unanimously agreed to consider additional funding for the Tripp Station Youth Park in the 2020 budget process.
On Monday, council was asked for an extra $100,000 for the youth-oriented bike park planned for the greenspace next to the George Tripp Hydro Substation – between Borden Street and Lochside Drive. The land is owned by BC Hydro, but the power company agreed to let Saanich lease the site for $1 every five years.
The Parks, Trails and Recreation Advisory Committee wrote to council explaining that more funds are needed to make the project a success and recommending that council endorse the funding request.
The youth park’s original budget of $166,700 was approved through the 2019 financial plan but as Coun. Ned Taylor, chair of the Parks, Trails and Recreation Advisory Committee, predicted last June, more funding is needed to complete the project.
“The committee wishes to inform council that they believe firmly that the additional funding request is necessary to ensure success for the project,” Taylor said.
He emphasized that it’s important for council to recognize the potential issues that can arise if the District doesn’t create a designated location for youth recreation with an emphasis on biking.
The location, Taylor said, is ideal for a bike park as residents could bike to it along the adjacent Lochside Trail. He added that municipal staff have taken the concerns coming from residents living near the property into consideration and have adjusted the project.
Before the vote, Coun. Nathalie Chambers commended Taylor’s efforts to make the bike park a reality.
“This is just absolutely exciting,” she said. “This is a perfect location.”
Taylor told Black Press Media he feels it’s “reasonable” for the District to put the money it’s saving on leasing the property back into the project.