Mountain bike park to be built in three phases

The group behind a proposed mountain bike skills park has decided to build the facility in phases.

The Mountain Bike Park at the Sportsplex will be a place for people to practice their skills before they head to the mountain.

The group behind a proposed mountain bike skills park has decided to build the facility in phases.

Wendy Ravai and Beth Pechter, the founders of the Campbell River Bike Park Society, told city council that after a review of the project, the society has determined that a phased approached is the most effective strategy to get the project moving.

The skills park, which has been in motion for more than three years, is slated to be built at the Sportsplex, in the forested area between Alder Street and the ball hockey court at the Sportsplex’s lower parking lot.

The facility is aimed at providing beginner and intermediate mountain bikers a place to gain the tools they need to ride safely before going out into the woods.

Original plans for the park included dirt jumps, pump tracks, drops and practice trails, obstacles, teeter-totters and wooden features such as skinnies and bridges.

Ravai and Pechter said that following four professional assessments – a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, a Danger Tree Assessment, an Environmental Management Plan and an Engineered Servicing Plan – that the society elected to break down construction of the park into three phases.

Phase one is slated to encompass building of the pump track, with phase two consisting of the tot and development area, followed by construction of the jump and drop lines as part of phase three.

“Phase one and two are located on the west side of the development and require the least amount of land and investment,” Ravai and Pechter wrote in a letter to council. “We are confident that we can obtain the funds for phase one and possibly phase two for the 2017 operating year.”

Which means that the budget the pair submitted to council in June has decreased substantially.

Ravai and Pechter told council at that time that park maintenance each year, between March 1 and October 31 when the park is expected to be open, was estimated to be $36,445.

But with only phase one and two, Ravai and Pechter said maintenance is expected to cost $8,870.

At Monday’s council meeting, Coun. Larry Samson asked whether that amount was accurate.

“Did staff have a chance to review the budget and make sure it’s realistic?”

Ross Milnthorp, the city’s general manager or parks, recreation and culture, said city staff did have a look at it before it came before council.

“Staff have considered the budget and consider it appropriate,” Milnthorp said.

Ravai and Pechter were asking council to include the funding in the city’s 2017 budget “so that we and our funders can have the confidence to know our investment will be sustainable now and into the future.”

The society has already received funding commitments of $2,400 from BC Hydro, $1,000 from the mountain bike SprocKids program, $300 from Outdoor Addictions, $125 from Pedal Your World, proceeds from Daybreak Rotary’s Duck Dip event and the society raised $6,500 through its own fundraiser.

The Bike Park Society has said it could chip in $5,000 annually of its own money for maintenance costs at the skills park but it needs the city’s help to make the facility viable.

“Once we looked into maintenance, what it would cost, we’re not sure we could do it all on our own,” Ravai told council during a presentation at a council meeting in June.

On Monday night, city council agreed to consider the request during the cities 2017 budget deliberations in early December.