Burns Lake to receive provincial grant money

The Village of Burns Lake is set to get a $1.26 million grant as a part of the provincial program supporting the Northern B.C. communities, allowing them to undertake major infrastructure and developmental projects.

A total of $75 million in grant money, that was announced by Premier John Horgan on May 11, will go towards two major provincial programs. As a part of the 2020 Northern Capital and Planning Grant, $50 million will be directed to local governments to help support them in their infrastructure needs and an additional $25 million will be made available to the local governments as part of the B.C. Northern Healthy Communities Fund.

In 2019, the village had received $3.4 million out of the $100 million Northern Capital and Planning Grant that was announced last year.

When asked about this second grant funding phase of the Northern Capital and Planning Grant, Sheryl Worthing, the CAO for the village informed that the council and the mayor had yet to receive the announcement for the funding. Both—the mayor, as well as the council, will receive the announcement during the May 19 council meeting.

“The funding will be put into the village’s Northern Capital Planning Grant Reserve fund,” confirmed Worthing, however she also added that no decisions on allocation of funding towards any projects would be made until the council received the announcement.

Others in the region receiving the renewed grant are, the District of Houston with a little over $2 million, Town of Smithers with a little over $3.65 million, the Village of Granisle with $358, 000 that they would put towards “long term planning and potential infrastructure replacement” according to Mayor Linda McGuire as per the statement released by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

The Village of Fraser Lake would also be receiving $777, 000 grant money from this renewed grant program, which would help the village to complete their fourth lagoon project, according to Mayor Sarrah Storey who also thanked the Province for the funding in the Ministry-released statement.

“We have been listening to northern communities about their need to be ready to seize the opportunities presented by expected growth and resource development. With this funding, they will be able to plan to tackle both the infrastructure and socio-economic needs their communities are facing,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in the May 11 news release.

Worthing confirmed this use case for the funding and said, “The funding can only be used for capital and long-term planning purposes in accordance with the Local Government Grants Regulation.”

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