Salmon Arm is one of 188 communities receiving part of a one-time monetary boost from the province.
The Growing Communities Fund, announced on Feb. 10, 2023 by Premier David Eby, seeks to assist municipalities and regional districts with costs associated with growing populations.
Salmon Arm will get $6.089 million from the provincial government.
“We are very appreciative for these monies and the recognition from the Province that growing communities like ours, need financial assistance with infrastructure needs,” said Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison in an email. “Although we have not yet received the detailed written criteria around this grant, it appears to provide local governments with the flexibility to use the monies in the areas of greatest need. This is important, as often grants are specific to targeted infrastructure, which may not be the highest need for our city. Additionally, this Community Growth Fund does not require matching funds, which often can prohibit applications.”
Other Shuswap communities receiving funding include Sicamous ($1,731,000), Chase ($1547,000), and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District ($3,796,000).
Funding was disbursed based on a formula where each municipality receives $500,000 as a base, then that amount was adjusted according to population size and per-capita growth between 2016 and 2021, reads a B.C. government release.
Harrison expects the grant will be discussed in council this month.
“The timing for Salmon Arm is perfect, as we recently completed our Corporate Strategic Plan which serves as a guide, outlining priority projects for council and staff to consider,” said Harrison. “We will be sure to communicate with residents, how council chooses to best spend this money.”
All governments will need to provide a report on the use of the funds with their audited financial statements, and further guidance on what the funds should be used for will be shared in the coming weeks. All funding will be disbursed by the end of March 2023.
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