by George Clark
Plans for a new bike park at Caroline Bay face uncertainty.
Timaru Suburban Lions Club has encountered a post-lockdown funding problem and is seeking assistance to develop the bike park, originally planned for completion at the end of 2020.
It is intended to locate the bike park next to the skate bowl at Caroline Bay, covering about a quarter of a hectare.
It plans to include a realistic roadway where children can learn to ride on a road without risk.
Funding promised so far has been $75,000 from The Community Trust of Mid & South Canterbury, $30,000 from Trust Aoraki, $20,000 from the Lloyd Morgan Lions Clubs Charitable Trust, as well as $5000 from the Timaru Suburban Lions Club.
The total project cost was expected to be about $500,000 and an estimated $370,000 was left to be raised.
Lions club member Vicki Gould said it was their belief that local businesses did not have the money they once might have had for community projects.
“Shortly before Covid-19 hit, applications had been made to Pub Charity Ltd and the Lottery Grants Board, with these being decided after Covid-19 arrived, we were turned down for any funding,” she said.
“The committee recognises we are now in a very different environment in respect to funding from both businesses and charities than we were at the beginning of the year.”
It would still push for funding and apply for the Timaru District Council stimulus fund, she said.
Timaru Suburban Lions is organising an online raffle, partly to raise funds and also to keep the project at the forefront of South Cantabrians’ minds.
“We are still committed to bringing this park to fruition, and hope the community are still behind it.
“Worst-case scenario, it is just pushed back.”