The City of Colwood is applying for a federal grant to help cover the cost of replacing the stairs in Latoria Creek Park.
The total cost of replacing the stairs is $325,000. The grant, which would come from Infrastructure Canada’s Investing in Canada Plan, would cover 73 per cent of the cost of the stairs. The remaining 27 per cent — or $87,000 — would be covered by the City. There would be zero tax increase to residents for this work.
The City said the stairs in Latoria Creek park were closed in April, 2018 when several steps collapsed, making them unsafe for use.
An assessment was done at that time to determine whether the stairs could be repaired or needed to be replaced.
“The answer was…both,” said a City of Colwood spokesperson via e-mail. “The collapsed stairs were repaired and the stairs reopened, but larger structural issues were identified, resulting in this plan to apply for funding to replace them.”
The grant application is based on replacing the stairs to provide the best life-cycle to cost scenario, meaning the stairs should require little investment in maintenance over a long-term period.
If the grant application is not successful, City of Colwood council will still be able to consider replacement and use the $87,000 in reserves for that purpose.
Last week, the City received more than 200 signatures from residents in support of the grant application.
Colwood has several nature staircases like the one in Latoria Creek Park that connect neighbourhoods and trails in local parks.
Some of the other staircases are located in Havenwood Park, Promenade Park, Outlook Park and Lookout Lake Park on Triangle Mountain.
They are popular spots for outdoor workouts and provide shortcuts through the community, Russell said.