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$3 million for Coast projects

$3 million for Coast projects

MLA Nicholas Simons says that people in the Sunshine Coast will benefit from improved infrastructure and new community gathering spaces, thanks to a new joint provincial-federal investment of over $3.1 million in three local projects.
“These investments will create new spaces and opportunities for people in the Sunshine Coast to of all ages and walks of life to come together and hold events when the time is right – a time we’re all looking forward to,” said Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast. “These upgrades and new facilities will help build community and benefit people in our region long into the future.”
Grants going to the Sunshine Coast include:
• Sunshine Coast Regional District: Coopers Green Hall replacement ($2,013,641). Construction of a new community hall, which will provide a larger space to accommodate a range of types and sizes of community events.
• Sechelt: Accessible performance space for Hackett Park ($185,524). The project will construct a multi-use outdoor amphitheatre, which may be utilized as an exercise space and outdoor classroom in addition to a performance space.
• Gibsons: White Tower stormwater pond ($955,000). The project will intercept and re-route stormwater into the White Tower stormwater pond, improving water quality entering Charman Creek, and providing better flood protection for downstream properties.
The existing stormwater ponds in Gibsons are a natural asset in White Tower Park which help collect stormwater run-off from development in Upper Gibsons. This enables the Town to reduce the extremely costly engineered drainage infrastructure it would otherwise require. With the new funding, the Town will build an additional pond on the vacant Town-owned parcel of land behind the Gibsons & District Aquatic, which will be fully planted to help settle out sediments and remove pollutants from the stormwater before it enters the creek. Work is expected to begin in 2021 and take several months to complete.
The expansion will enable the stormwater ponds to service 47.7 hectares of land, and help address long-term erosion and water quality impacts of past development on Charman Creek. It will also add to the Town’s outdoor recreational space, as the site will be fully landscaped with native plant species and include walking trails, split rail fencing, flora and information signage.
“This project provides many valuable benefits to our community,” said Dave Newman, director of infrastructure services. “It improves the Town’s water quality and stormwater management capacity, expands our parklands, increases wildlife habitat, and enables residents to better connect with Gibsons’ natural assets.”
Gibsons has been recognized internationally for its pioneering work in natural asset management, which treats natural assets (such as the stormwater ponds and the Gibsons Aquifer) in the same formalized way as engineered infrastructure assets.
“The expansion of our stormwater ponds represents the next step in the Town’s bold leadership in natural asset management,” said Mayor Bill Beamish. “This is a project that has been a part of Gibsons’ long-term plans since 2016, and we are extremely pleased that the provincial and federal government recognize the value of this innovative and green infrastructure investment.” Submitted

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