The local cut, which is to assist with the construction of the Peachland Pier Project, comes out of the BC Rural Dividend program.
With such a large boost the the project, Pier Group president Eldon Kerbes said there’s enough money now to make the structure a reality.
“Regarding the success with the grants, two people come to mind – John Grimes ( fundraiser co-ordinator) and Nicole Pressman (assistant executive director) – without those wordsmiths we wouldn’t have gotten them.”
Kerbes said he was fairly confident that some funding from the grant would be funnelled into Peachland, “But when I found out it was $200,000, I let out a whew!”
However, the treasure chest is only full enough to build the project in its bare bones.
“If it goes over budget, we would like to make sure there’s enough breathing room,” Kerbes said. “And if there’s money leftover we can add amenities like benches and lighting.”
The idea came about as a solution to the difficulties that disabled fishermen face when they cast off from the shores of Peachland, as Fishing Forever hosts one of its events every July at Heritage Park.
“People kept getting hooked up on the rocks,” Kerbes said. “So we would go ahead and see what we could do about getting a Pier in order for any individual or tourist to enjoy fishing. Even if they don’t fish they can at least sit there and enjoy the scenery because it’s a beautiful place.”
The Pier Project began in 2014 as a collaboration between three local service clubs – The Peachland Lions, the Rotary Club of Peachland and the Peachland Sportsmen’s Association.
“I just cannot thank the directors enough that have come forward from the three clubs,” said Mayor Cindy Fortin.
The Pier Project has permission from the provincial and federal governments as well as local First Nations. The District has cut away as much red tape as possible by waiving the permit fees and Development Cost Charges.
“There’s nothing to stop you guys at this point in time,” Fortin said. “I love fishing and I think this is a really good thing—I’m excited to be one of the first to cast my line!”
In addition to support from all levels of government, the Pier Project also relied on help from numerous local businesses and organizations.
There was help from Central Okanagan Foundation; Toko Industries; the Rick Hansen Foundation; BC Wildlife Federation; Okanagan Wildlife Federation; the Gorman Brothers; Shoreline Pile Driving; and several promises of in kind donations.