Council supports BMX track rebuild

City council unanimously supported a request by the Prince George BMX Club to help fund a rebuild of the track and construction of a new starting gate on Monday.

The city will provide $42,660 towards the costs of gravel, trucking, concrete and labour for the track build.

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The total estimated cost of the project was pegged at $147,199 by the cycling club, the majority of which is funded by the club and through sponsorships.

"This is a major win for our riders, this is a major win for Prince George," said BMX club spokesperson Derek Orr. "It's going to be a national-level track."

Orr said work on the track rebuild is scheduled to start on April 2, and they hope to have the course work done by the end of that month for the BMX season. However, construction of the new start gate won't begin until late July.

Orr said the new start gate will be safer, and allow the club to bid on hosting provincial and national-level events.

Similar competitions in Kelowna, Langley and Chilliwack attracted between 500 and 700 riders, he added.

It's a natural fit with the city's sports tourism plan, he said, and once complete it would be added to the sports amenities promoted by local tourism initiatives.

"It will allow our riders to be competitive. We have a pretty short season, compared to Vancouver, so anything we can do helps," Orr said.

Funding for the city's contribution came from city council's $75,000 contingency fund for the year.

"It's a big chuck of our contingency," Coun. Brian Skakun said.

"(But) it's a template for any community group coming to council looking for support."

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