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SCRD Eyes Infrastructure Grants

SCRD Eyes Infrastructure Grants

Federal infrastructure grant applications for Woodcreek Park wastewater treatment and ports facilities are set to be considered by the SCRD board. According to staff, these initiatives are leading in the SCRD’s grant readiness continuum.
The SCRD plans to apply for $844,000 to upgrade the Woodcreek wastewater system. The system serves 73 properties just north of Gibsons along Highway 101. The SCRD took over its management in 1995 and installed a new facility at the site in 1999. There are now performance concerns with the treatment, and the province has issued the SCRD warnings about the facility’s capacity and effluent quality.
A grant to cover ports renewal projects on Keats and Gambier Islands worth $623,313 will also be applied for.
In addition, the board will be asked to approve the SCRDs share of project costs of $20,000 for the ports work and $75,000 for the Woodcreek Park initiative. The application and cost-sharing recommendations, made at the Oct. 15 Infrastructure Committee meeting, are slated to go to the board at its Oct. 22 meeting.
During the committee session, Sechelt Area Director Darnelda Siegers asked how those projects were picked. Chief Administrative Officer Dean McKinley explained that project planning is an ongoing staff priority and that the numerous capital projects on the SCRD’s work plans are at varying points in grant readiness. He noted that when external funding opportunities arise, staff endeavour to recommend project applications that have the best opportunity to be successful in receiving funding and serving the community. He noted that the “bullseye” that marks the fit of an application to program criteria changes frequently. In the case of the current Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, project applications required well-developed budgets and timelines. McKinley said that with much of the engineering and estimate work already completed, those could be quickly put in place for the items that staff
The committee applauded staff for their response to this program, which was announced in mid-September and called for applications by Oct. 22. Siegers noted that local Member of Parliament Patrick Weiler has advised her that funding opportunities will continue to be announced “until the Canadian economy starts to turn around.” She said that keeping the SCRD’s grant readiness continuum stocked with updated project plans should help the area access more money for infrastructure.
Connie Jordison

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