Despite a last-ditch effort by a rural Castlegar director to pare down the application, the Regional District of Central Kootenay will seek a federal grant of more than $14 million to upgrade the Castlegar and District Recreation Complex.

The motion passed today will see the RDCK apply to the Canada Infrastructure Program for 73.3 per cent of the total project cost of $19.4 million. The remaining local portion would be covered through $1 million in reserves and $5 million in short-term borrowing.

If approved, the project would see upgrades to the aquatic centre, the expansion of the fitness/wellness center above the leisure pool, and the addition of a social space and walking circuit/running track.

However, Area I director Andy Davidoff presented the board with a scaled-down proposal he introduced earlier this week to the recreation commission. It would have omitted the aquatic centre and social space components, reducing the total project cost to $5.5 million and the grant request to about $4 million.

“The proposal I tabled I believe addresses all the priorities and leaves room for cost escalation and anticipated expenses,” he said. “I believe it was a reasonable, fiscally responsible motion to make on behalf of my ratepayers.”

However, the rest of the board voted to endorse applying for the higher amount. The application is due Jan. 23, but the RDCK doesn’t expect to hear for several months whether it is successful.

Although the project has some of the same elements as a proposal defeated in a referendum last year, it does not include upgrades to the arena.