The Central Coast Regional District will be receiving $830,000 for a one-time grant from the provincial government.
“We are thrilled to have been awarded $830,000 under the recently announced Growing Communities Fund,” said CCRD board chair Jayme Kennedy. “The funds will be allocated throughout the region to the services that need it most and will be a topic of conversation at our strategic planning session in May.”
North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice said the CCRD is the only Regional District in British Columbia that doesn’t have a municipality within it, which makes it difficult to generate revenue to actually serve all the communities within the region.
“So the funding that we’ve been able to provide the Central Coast Regional District is a significant amount of money considering what they’re used to raising,” Rice said. “Of course, it’s not enough to meet all their infrastructure needs, but I really do hope it will help.”
Rice also said reflecting on the fact that the money will be able to be used for a plethora of type of projects and also be used for leveraging other funds, she is optimistic it will make a big difference in the lives of the residents of Central Coast Regional District.
In February Premier David Eby announced the government would distribute grants to municipalities and regional districts by the end of March 2023.
Municipalities did not have to apply for the grants and the province would instead use a population-based formula that looks at population growth between 2016 and 2021 to hand out the money with the smallest grant amount being $500,000.
Eby said the formula also recognizes that rural communities with smaller populations have higher costs in delivering services.
Eby clarified that money could not be used for operating costs.
It has to go into infrastructure and amenities like community centres, sewage plants and roads among other items. Local governments will also put the money into a separate account to make sure that they are accountable to their communities, so that residents can see how much money has gone into which projects, he added.
With files from Wolf Depner