(File photo)

Emergency cooling centre on the way for Hope seniors centre

Council directs grant money to Golden Agers club in hopes that whole community can access centre

Some of the grant money distributed by Hope council in May will be in response to environmental emergencies that took place in 2021.

The District of Hope regularly distributes funds to local organizations that comes from the Cascade Lower Canyon Community Forest (CLCFF). This year, they were given $150,000 to distribute as they see fit. There have been 15 applicants for this round, and after some discussion, all recipients were given most or all of their requested grant amounts — even those which did not meet the program’s requirements.

They had already approved and given $37,500 to the Hope Mountain Centre for trail works, so had 14 applications totalling $147,622 to sort through at their May 26 meeting but only $112,500 left to disperse.

The Canyon Golden Age Society will receive $7,800 to help create a cooling centre in their building.

“I really like this project,” Councillor Scott Medlock noted. He asked if they could somehow ensure that the community could use the cooling centre if needed, and Councillor Heather Stewin responded that it was their intention to do that.

Hope had a local state of emergency in late June with sustained temperatures well above normal. Hope had a high of 41.4C according to Environment Canada, but in Lytton that soared to 48.6C, smashing records but also causing heat illness and deaths.

Fraser East had 51 heat-related deaths and 22 of those were in Chilliwack and 20 in Abbotsford. The Standard is aware of at least one heat-related death in Hope, but communities with fewer than five deaths are not listed in an official BC Coroner’s report that was released in November.

Hope Golf and Country Club put in a request for $30,000 for reseeding the course, which was nearly completely destroyed when the Coquihalla River rose to record levels in November.

The amount was reduced by the applicant to $25,000, council noted. Councillor Craig Traun noted that the volunteer efforts to repair the course has been a community effort and he supported the grant application.

The other organizations and projects that will receive funds are the Hope Curling Club, which asked for $12,800 to retrofit the roof and replace ceiling tiles. It is one of the applications that didn’t fit the criteria, and council approved a grant of about $12,000 after filling all the needs of the applicants within the criteria.

The RiverMonsters Swim Club also requested funds for a project that would be considered capital. Their request of $14,700 for a storage container near the pool was reduced to $9,700.

Organizers for a new event called the Hope Arts Crawl, taking place August 13 and 14, is receiving $2,000 for their project.

The Butterflyway Project, which will encourage wildflower planting in support of bees and butterflies will receive $1,000.

Hope Crime Prevention will receive $5,000 to implement a Business Link program.

Hope Community Garden was approved for $5,040 to acquire and install a shelter at the garden site, which is one of the four projects that was outside of the criteria.

Communities in Bloom will get $500 for a beautification project for Exit 165. Councillor Victor Smith said that it is a one-time cost for the site and will last for years to come.

The Fraser Valley Mountain Bikers Association will receive $10,000 for a lofty project of completing a trail network in the Silver-Skagit Road area.

Medlock expressed his interest in this project.

“That is one of the things we were lacking, is official trails,” he said. “It’s a good first step, and building on the investment we have in the bike park. Youth learning their skills at the park can go on and practise their skills in the forest.”

The Mount Hope Senior Citizens Society will get $20,000 toward a new roof for Park Street Manor. That is reduced from a request of $44,427.60

Some fun projects include new Christmas lights for the town, via the Hope & Area Chamber of Commerce, at a cost of $5,500, and a Canada Day event for the Hope Valley Cruisers Car Club, to the tune of $4,300

Hope Food Collective will also receive $4,554 to undertake a food security summit.

READ MORE: SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s first powwow event hosted on Sumas First Nation land


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