Vanderhoof receives over $5 million, in a March 27 announcement by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to address long-standing infrastructure needs in the community.
A total of nine communities in the Bulkley-Nechako region received a combined $37.5 million from the province to address infrastructure needs and support planning for future opportunities. Vanderhoof has received a total of $5,731,000.
Gerry Thiessen, mayor of Vanderhoof said the District is thankful to the province for the grant.
“The premier heard our concerns for infrastructure and this grant will go along way in addressing some of our most immediate concerns. The last few winters have been very hard on our roads so we are told we can leverage this funding with some other grants to accomplish even more,” he said.
As per the March 27 release from Municipal Affairs and Housing, these grant payments are part of the recently announced $100 million Northern Capital and Planning Grant, which provides funding for infrastructure and long-term planning to four regional districts (Fraser-Fort George, Bulkley-Nechako, Kitimat-Stikine and North Coast) and their 22 participating municipalities.
Apart from Vanderhoof, the following communities in Bulkley-Nechako will receive the new grant: Bulkley-Nechako Regional District — $5,800,000, Burns Lake — $3,439,000, Fraser Lake — $2,607,000, Fort St. James — $3,342,000, Granisle — $2,353,000, Houston — $4,486,000, Smithers — $6,218,000, Telkwa — $3,590,000.
Selina Robinson, minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing said, “We’ve been hearing from local governments in northern B.C. about the challenges they face funding much-needed upgrades to their aging infrastructure, and I know this new grant will help close the gap.”
“With this funding, communities can start moving forward on the initiatives they need to seize opportunities now and down the road,” said Robinson.
The release stated verbatim that local governments may use this grant to meet an immediate infrastructure need for their community, save it for a future opportunity, or leverage it to secure other sources of funding, including borrowing, reserves and other grant programs to cover major infrastructure and long-term planning initiatives.
Mayors from Granisle, Fort St. James, Burns Lake and Fraser Lake were quoted in the release stating they were thankful to the province for the grant as it will help address infrastructure deficits in all these communities.
Each municipal government has to put the money in a separate reserve fund for capital and planning purposes, stated the release.
Municipalities will also need to report the use of the money in the reserve fund over each calendar year and the balance of the reserve fund at the end of each calendar year.