With sod installation nearing its completion in the revitalization of Voght Park, the City of Merritt is set to begin the construction of the surrounding track in the final week of September.

And while current funding only allows for a clay surface, staff are still seeking out funding to provide runners with a more modern, all-weather polymer top.

Initially receiving $450,000 to rebuild the structure through an exception to the province’s Disaster Financial Assistance usual guidelines due to the Nov. 2021 flooding, an additional $500,000 was granted through the Build Back Better initiative, allowing the city to improve the track’s size and shape, as well as install necessary irrigation systems as well as concrete curbing for the long jump area.

However, an additional $1.1-million is needed to upgrade the track’s soon-to-be clay surface, which is similar to that of a baseball diamond, to the polymer surface, which city staff believe would be more attractive for future meets.

If fundraising goals are met, the polymer track can be installed on top of the clay.

“Current work is proceeding with the expectation that we will be able to make further improvements in the future,” reads a release from the city.

Residents are reminded that with the sod installed, it must now be irrigated as part of the contract, which is not governed by the City of Merritt’s Outdoor Water Conservation Policy.