Thursday, September 13, 2018

Infrastructure grant funding programs come out of UBCM session Wednesday

Who has the money? Ms. Trevena has the money!
The BC  Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
outlined a pair of new funding programs to delegates at
the 2018 UBCM convention in Whistler on Wednesday

(photo from BC government feed)

"Closing the infrastructure gap in British Columbia's communities", was how Wendy Booth the President of the UBCM described a pair of funding announcements from the Wednesday session of the UBCM convention. With the federal and provincial governments exploring the opportunities ahead for municipalities in two categories.

The two programs include the Community, Culture and Recreation Fund and the Rural and Northern Communities Fund with both programs designed to assist small, rural and remote communities with populations under the 25,000 population level.

Claire Trevena, the Provincial Minister for Transportation and Infrastructure provided the details of the new funding initiatives, highlighting the benefits the opportunities offer for BC's small, rural and remote communities.

“Investing in local infrastructure gives people better access to the services they need and helps build thriving communities,”  ... “With access to this new funding, people across B.C. and in northern and rural communities can stay connected and provide the important services people rely on to make life even better.”

Selina Robinson, the province's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing observed how the two programs will help develop long neglected infrastructure concerns and strengthen local communities and their economies.

“Communities have been waiting too long for help building the arenas, community centres, and transit and energy infrastructure that people want and need,”  ... “Together with the federal government, we are investing in infrastructure that will build up communities, strengthen local economies and create opportunities for people in every part of the province.”

The Community, Culture and Recreation program will provide access to funding for projects that upgrade and build sports facilities, trails, local community centres and spaces for arts and culture. It will also support health and educational facilities that uphold the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action.

Combined Federal/Provincial funding of to 130 million dollars is now available for applications from communities across the province, the deadline for communities to submit their applications is January 23rd of 2019.

Communities that are eligible could receive funding for the following:

up to 33% provincial funding and up to 40% federal funding for local government projects 

up to 15% provincial funding and up to 75% federal funding for Indigenous projects

up to 25% provincial funding and up to 40% federal funding for not-for-profit projects.

 The second initiative, the Rural and Northern Communities Fund will support communities’ wide range of infrastructure priorities, including broadband connectivity, efficient and reliable energy, Indigenous health and educational facilities, local public transit and reliable road, air or marine infrastructure, as well as improved resilience to natural disasters and environmental quality.

For communities of 5,000 people or less, combined provincial and federal funding will cover up to 100% for eligible projects.

The Federal and provincial governments have committed up to 95 million dollars to the fund which was opened to applications as of Wednesday, the closing date for applications is January 23rd, 2019

Four options are available for Communities looking for funding under this program, they include:

up to 40% provincial funding of eligible costs for local government projects with populations of 25,000 or less. The federal government will contribute up to 60% for communities with populations of 5,000 or less (a combined 100% funding), and up to 50% for communities with populations between 5,001 and 25,000 (a combined 90% funding) 

up to 25% provincial funding and up to 75% federal funding for Indigenous projects

up to 25% provincial funding and up to 50% federal funding for not-for-profit projects 

up to 15% provincial funding and up to 25% federal funding related to for-profit projects.

Some further background on both initiatives can be found here.

The two programs announced on Wednesday join the Green Infrastructure Funding program which was closed to applications on August 29th, the Province is now considering the applications from those communities which submitted their programs for consideration.

One more Federal/Provincial infrastructure program is still to come, that one designed to provide joint funding for Public transit programs.

Details on the range of programs can be reviewed here.

You can review more of the developments from the 2018 UBCM convention from our archive page here.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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