The province recently announced over $3 million in funding to Vanderhoof for economic projects to improve and build infrastructure to meet the needs of people in the region. This funding is part of a $75 million investment in the north.
This funding was announced May 11 by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
In addition to the approximately $3.7 million granted to Vanderhoof, the province also announced roughly $1.6 million in funding to the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.
“We are jut so thankful. It really shows that Victoria understands the need for infrastructure in the North,” said Gerry Thiessen, mayor of Vanderhoof and chair of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.
Last year the provincial government had given Vanderhoof roughly $5.8 million in infrastructure funding.
“We are working on the next couple of days to prioritize a number of other projects that were in the (municipal) 5-year plan and boost it up. As together with the $5.8 million we received last year and the $3.7 million now, we have the opportunity to develop without impacting the tax payers of Vanderhoof,” the mayor said.
In terms of what the money will be used for, Thiessen said council was discussing the projects involved, but streets like Burrard Avenue will get worked on this summer.
There will be multiple paving jobs that will happen as well, and the mayor said he is encouraged by lower oil prices, which “helps a lot with paving.” More details around fund allocations will be made available once its finalized by mayor and council.
Meanwhile, Fraser Lake and Fort St. James were also recipients of funding through the Northern Capital Planning Grant.
Mayor Sarrah Storey of Fraser Lake said, “The Village of Fraser Lake is thankful to the Province for this funding. This grant will assist us in the completion of our fourth lagoon project. Grants of this nature help municipalities with infrastructure challenges that are vital for the sustainability of our communities.”
“The Village of Fraser Lake will now meet regulatory standards throughout the seasons, which will contribute to the overall health of our community, environment and water quality.”
Meanwhile, the province is investing the $75 million announced May 11 through the two programs below, as stated in the press release:
- The 2020 Northern Capital and Planning Grant provides $50 million directly to local governments to help address their infrastructure needs and as they prepare for major resource and economic development.
- Another $25 million will be available to communities as they prepare for major economic developments through the B.C. Northern Healthy Communities Fund, which will be administered through the Northern Development Initiative Trust. The fund will be available to local governments, First Nations and non-profits in the region to support local delivery of critical services, such as health and mental health care, housing and child care.
Premier John Horgan said,”Northern B.C. is rich in natural resources, but its strongest asset is its people. We are proud to work in partnership with northern communities. These funds will help address the social and infrastructure needs that arise out of the many exciting economic developments underway in those communities. We are investing in northern jobs, roads and public services – and most importantly, in northern people.”