A multi-use path was proposed for Stamp Avenue with grant funding from BikeBC. NEWS FILE PHOTO

Port Alberni ends grant contract for Stamp Avenue path

$200,000 will not be expended for multi-use path

Port Alberni city council has agreed to end a grant contract with BikeBC for a multi-use path on Stamp Avenue after determining that the project could not be completed within the established budget.

The city received a $100,000 grant from BikeBC in early 2017 for the construction of a fully separated, multi-use bike path on both sides of Stamp Avenue, and set aside an additional $100,000 from the city’s carbon trust fund for the project.

READ: New cycling infrastructure in Port Alberni underway soon

However, director of development services Scott Smith determined in November that the costs for such a project would exceed the $200,000.

He suggested a number of ways to limit the scope of the project, such as adding width to the sidewalk already in existence on Stamp Avenue, or eliminating a vehicle lane on the west side to make space for a separated bike path.

READ: Alternatives for Stamp Avenue pathway suggested

But BikeBC has now indicated that the scope change will not be approved under the existing grant.

“The city has an option to try and fund the balance of it ourselves, which would be in excess of $1 million, so certainly not within our budget capabilities,” said Smith during a council meeting on Monday, April 9.

Council agreed to end the current grant contract. Neither the $100,000 from BikeBC or the carbon trust fund will be expended.

“They won’t be holding the money for us,” said Smith.

Smith said that the city could work on a new, more feasible design and make a new grant application to BikeBC once it has been determined. He explained that the city may have underestimated the cost for the Stamp Avenue project because they had been working on deadline for the grant application.

“Circumstances change,” he added. “When you have grant applications that you have to make on short notice, you do the best of your ability to put something forward. This opportunity was available, and we did it in quite a short turnaround time.”

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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