Municipal governments in the Tri-Cities will be getting a much-needed cash injection for infrastructure, as the province recently announced $37 million has been set aside for its five communities.
The Growing Community Fund, which was announced on Feb. 10 by Premier David Eby, is handing out $1 billion in grants to all 188 municipalities and regional districts within B.C.
The money is intended to fund new infrastructure and amenities as municipalities struggle to keep up with the costs associated with population growth.
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“Our communities are growing and this puts more pressure on community centres, parks and swimming pools that families rely on,” Ebay stated in a March 3 press release.
“We’re providing the single largest provincial investment in communities in B.C.’s history.”
The funding is needed to equip local governments with the infrastructure required to support housing supply targets.
Requests for infrastructure funding were routinely oversubscribed, according to the province.
“There are six times more requests for funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program Community, Culture and Recreation stream than what is available,” the province stated during its February announcement.
Each local government was provided with $500,000, with additional grant allocation dependent on population size and growth targets, according to the release.
The province says their formula considered the impacts to service and amenity demands on smaller and rural communities, and pressures faced by faster growing communities.
The funds are set to be released later this month.
Coquitlam is receiving $18,635,000; Port Coquitlam, $9,462,000; Port Moody, $6,734,000; Anmore, $1,730,000; and Belcarra, $759,000.
Governments will be requested to report how the money is being spent in their annual financial statement audits.
“These grants will support projects that each community needs the most, like new affordable housing and child care facilities, road improvements or recreation centres,” said Anne Kang, minister of municipal affairs.
Union of B.C. Municipalities President Jen Ford said that the funds will allow local governments to replace old infrastructure systems at a faster rate, and expand services.
The approach of providing funding upfront will ensure that these funds are directed to the most urgent priorities identified in each community.”