Council split over grant funds

Motion to support staff to prepare an application for grant funds passes, but with opposition from two councillors.

Applying for federal grant funding split Grand Forks council this week, as councillors debated whether to support an RDKB application or submit for funding of its own to fund $80,000 worth of projects in the city.

The recommendation made at the June 13 meeting was to support city staff as they prepare and submit an application for funding through Canada 150, a federal fund providing money for infrastructure devlopment projects that “celebrate our heritage, create jobs, and improve quality of life for Canadians,” according to the request for decision to council. The motion to submit for funding passed, with councillors Julia Butler and Bev Tripp voting against.

The project covers three improvement initiatives within the city: more infrastructure at the dog park, providing headstones to unmarked graves at the cemetery, and creating signage and walkways in the Johnson’s Flats wetlands.

The total cost of the project is $80,000, with 50 per cent funded by the city and the remaining $40,000 provided by a Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Grant if the grant application is successful.

According to the request for decision, the majority of phase 1 of the project will be funded through donations and Capital Reserves.

Butler questioned whether the $40,000 council was requested to approve was in the current budget. Chief Adminstrative Offier (CAO) Doug Allin confirmed the amount is not currently budgeted.

Tripp questioned the immediate need of the projects, noting that other projects were in more dire need. The regional district is also putting in an application for pool restoration and deck resurfacing.

“This morning when it was bought up that there was a competing application going in for these funds, I’m a little concerned,” Tripp said. “I know the dog park issue, [but] with the people in the cemetery needing headstones, I think those dead people could probably live without the city’s money spent on headstones, and I am not sure about the signage for the Johnson’s Flats wetland project.”

Allin encouraged council to apply for the funding because it had already voted in favour of moving forward on these projects.

“These are projects already under way by council,” Allin said. “Council has approved that we are moving on these projects, so for us looking at this, it would save the taxpayers money if we were successful.”

The issue of collaboration with the regional district was brought forward, with Butler noting that cooperation on one grant application could be better than two applications.

“I just think as we talk about regional collaboration, it would be much more beneficial for us to throw our support behind the regional distrct and their application for the pool, resurfacing of the deck, and to work as a team with the district on that.”

Councillor Colleen Ross spoke in favour of the grant application because of the funds it would give council to move forward on a project she said she feels is important for the area.

“I really like the idea of us moving ahead more quickly on establishing and enhancing the wetland and making it better known with our public,” Ross said. “It’s a significant area in our community and it is a first in our community for us to designate city-owned land as a perpetual green space.”

If the application was unsuccessful, Butler asked whether the project would need to be funded completely by council. Allin said that was unclear, and would be a decision of council at that time.

Just Posted

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Endoscopy Campaign wraps up at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

The KBRH Health Foundation recently held a donor ceremony for contributors to its $450,000 tally

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Elections 2018: Meet your Grand Forks Council Candidates

The biographies of the 13 candidates for City of Grand Forks council

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Canada’s top general takes aim at new reports of military sexual assault

Gen. Jonathan Vance is unhappy some troops continue to ignore his order to cease all sexual misconduct

Ignoring climate change poses potential catastrophe for B.C.

Fisheries scientist says ‘extraordinary challenges’ in water management lie ahead

Most Read