Sunday, July 06, 2008

Unconditionally ours... but not as much as the neighbours

The Province of BC began distrubting grant monies to municipalities across the Northwest last week, with Prince Rupert receiving $278,701 in cash to develop programs and projects of their choosing without any strings attached from Victoria.

The District of Port Edward picks up $269,210 to be used on their wish list of projects, with a number of plans vying for a share of the grant.

Other northwest locations picked up even larger grants, which are based on a number of factors which include, a basic sum for all municipalities under 15,000 residents, an increasing ratio based on population above that level and the property assessment levels of each community.

Among the neighbours, Terrace was allotted $344,154, Kitimat receives $327,788, the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine will get $162,000, Smithers counts in $483,653, Stewart picks up $331,764 and Telkwa will look for ways to use $386,553.

The Daily News and the Terrace Standard both had stories on the injection of grant monies into the northwest.

Port Ed gets injection of cash
By Patrick Witwicki
The Daily News

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Funding grants were the topic of the day at the last Port Edward council meeting.
First off, Port Edward received written correspondence from the provincial government regarding a new LocalMotion and Towns for Tomorrow grant. The funding of $40 million during a four-year period that is available to B.C.'s smaller communities can be used to make a community "become even better places to live and work," said B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell.
Port Edward has been trying to secure enough funding to eventually replace the aging waterlines in the community, and Chief Administrative Officer Ron Bedard is hopeful the district can get something out of this grant.

"We have put an application in for this grant, and this is to do with our water," said Bedard.
Also, in Campbell's correspondence, it suggested some of the funds could go toward "meeting the mobility needs of seniors and people with disabilities."

Port Edward currently doesn't have any specific future plans when it comes to addressing the needs of its seniors, but Bedard said it never hurts to look into it.

Acting Mayor Christine MacKenzie suggested that council consider some options that could be brought to light out of that potential funding.

"It can't hurt to investigate that," she said.

Coun. Ed Wampler added: "I think it could work for us."

In addition to Campbell's correspondence, Ida Chong, the provincial Minister of Community Services, informed council that the 2008-09 Small Community Grants will increase by more than $6 million to a total of $43.5 million.

That grant calculation means that the district of Port Edward has just received a total of $269,210 that will be added to the general fund for the current fiscal year.

Locals getting money
The Terrace Standard
July 01, 2008

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS will receive a significant increase in unconditional grants from the provincial government this year.

Terrace is allotted $344,154 this year, almost $50,000 more than last year’s $294,378.

The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine will get $162,000, up from last year’s $141,000.

The grant allocation is based on a formula with three elements: a basic sum for all municipalities with a population of less than 15,000, a sum based on population and money based on property assessments.

All told, northern B.C. communities will get more than $12.6 million in grant money this year.

“We recognize that smaller municipalities and regional districts often need extra support to make their communities even better places to live and work,” said community services Minister Ida Chong in announcing the grants.

“These grants are important for them to achieve their goals and provide opportunities for residents and visitors.”

Kitimat receives $327,788, Prince Rupert $278,701 and Smithers $483,653. Stewart was allocated $331,764, and Telkwa $386,553.

This year’s total for the north is $1.9 million more than it was last year and more than the total given for the previous year.

Unconditional grants can be used for a variety of purposes by municipalities and regional districts and don’t have to be tied to any specific purpose or program.

That’s different than conditional grants, the spending of which has to be for specific purposes agreed to by municipal and regional district governments.

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