TNRD looks to grants for improvements to downtown building

The Thompson Nicola Regional District, City of Kamloops and School District 73 board of directors could share a space to cut down on overlapping costs, according to a TNRD director.

On Thursday, Area P (Rivers and the Peaks) director Mel Rothenburger raised the issue during the board’s regular meeting.

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It comes as the regional district has shared, for months, space for its meetings with the city in Sandman Centre. Council and regional district meetings have both been held there, with added space to comply with physical distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rothenburger’s question was posed as the regional district looks toward grant funding to fix up and improve its downtown building.

According to regional district staff, its building, located at 465 Victoria St., requires roofing and HVAC upgrades.

In addition, the regional district hopes to add solar panels to the roof and expand its board room, moving it from the fourth floor to the second floor.

Facilities manager Ian Dalgleish told the board on Thursday, that without grant funding, the upgrades would be funded over several years.

Staff sought approval from the board to apply for $2.4-million via a provincial COVID-19 infrastructure grant program, called the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream grant, which is accepting applications until the end of the month.

TNRD chair Ken Gillis also noted previous discussion, during the board’s strategic planning meetings in November, about the potential for selling the building, which is valued in the millions of dollars. The city also owns part of the building.

Area J (copper desert country) Ronaye Elliott said it is time to have a discussion about the future of the building, with the regional district having outgrown the location. TNRD CAO Scott Hildebrand, however, said he does not believe that is the case quite yet.

“We have a number of years of growth ahead of us,” he said.

Staff noted the funding application would be for repairs to the building and conversation about the future of the TNRD’s civic building could come independently at a later time.

“There is a timeline that is sensitive,” Dalgleish said.

The application deadline is Jan. 27. The board gave staff the green light.

The regional district in recent years has also upgraded its building’s entryway, added a commercial coffee shop space and erected artwork on top of the building.

© Kamloops This Week



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