The Williams Lake Trail Riders Association will get a new roof over its head at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds, thanks to a COVID-19 funding grant from the province.
Barb Stuart, current director and past president with the WLTRA, said the group received $109,803 in funding from the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program to install a new roof over top of the Trail Rider’s Arena and on roughly 60 stable stalls.
“We needed this very, very badly,” Stuart told the Tribune. “The building is over 65 years old and it was in desperate need.”
Some of the stalls currently aren’t able to be rented out due to leaks in the roof, and when it rains water also leaks through the roof of the indoor arena.
“In the winter it’s not good because then once it leaks through it freezes,” Stuart said. “It’s a definite need project and a long-time coming.”
Construction on the new roof for the arena and stables will get underway on May 1, Stuart said, pending weather.
“If we can go sooner we will,” she said.
The project, being undertaken by Mainline Roofing, is expected to take roughly a month from start to finish.
“We’re hoping it should be completed by the end of June to get all those done,” Stuart said.
Stuart thanked the City of Williams Lake’s economic development officer Beth Veenkamp for putting the WLTRA in touch with Brent Dafoe, who helped them write the grant application.
And while COVID-19 has put the brakes on their regular events, drop ins and a sign-in and sign-out sheet are still up and running at the arena.
“As soon as COVID-19 finishes we hope to get back to normal,” Stuart said. “We rent out to the BC Barrel Racing Association ladies, we have gymkhanas there, we have the Child Development Centre camp there for two weeks in the summer, and that’s all changed. It’s so unfortunate.”
Stuart said she thinks the WLTRA is a gem in the city with its indoor and outdoor riding arenas, and ability to stable animals year round.