The joint services committee advisory committee has recommended that District of Clearwater contribute $5,000 to help Clearwater Sno-Drifters purchase a used groomer and that Wells Gray Country (Area A) put in $3,000.
That was the report to District council from councilor Barry Banford during a town council meeting held last Tuesday.
The money for the snowmobile club should be contingent on several deliverables, Banford said. These would include the club demonstrating benefits to winter tourism from the grant, the provision of adequate mapping and other materials, plus the institution of trail fees for users.
The club has the power from government to charge trail fees on Raft Mountain, Banford noted, but has not done so until now because there are at least four access routes onto the mountain. The club has believed that this would make charging fees impractical but clubs in other communities collect trail fees by using lock boxes and getting visitors to pay at their motels, Banford said.
After getting the go-ahead from Council, Banford said the proposal would be taken to the Sno-Drifters for their approval. If the club found the deliverables acceptable, then it would come back to Council to approve the funds.
Banford is the council’s representative to the joint services advisory committee. The committee handles matters that are of concern to both the municipality and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District electoral area.
Councilor Merlin Blackwell noted that snowmobilers as a group are one of the largest spenders for winter sports.
The money would not come from the District, said chief administrative officer Leslie Groulx. Instead, it would be taken from the North Thompson Economic Development Fund.
That fund is the remnant of the money provided following the 2003 wildfires by Kevin Kruger when he was Kamloops-North Thompson MLA. The municipality has been very frugal in disbursing the fund, Groulx said.