The Town of Lake Cowichan is waiting for further details from the province before it can be determined where to spend the $1.9 million the town will receive in government money that was announced last week.
Mayor Tim McGonigle said the initial correspondence that was received from the province last week on the funding announcement from B.C.’s Growing Communities Fund was vague about what the money can be spent on, other than infrastructure.
He said it’s likely intended mainly for water, sewer, recreation and other basic infrastructure projects, and council will discuss what projects they would like to invest the funding in this week as the town waits for further clarifications from Victoria.
“We’ll have to see where the money can be allocated, but we’re very thankful that we’ll be receiving it,” McGonigle said.
“I just wish there could be a steady stream of funding like this coming our way.”
Overall, local governments in the Cowichan Valley will receive a total of $21 million for infrastructure projects from the Growing Communities Fund.
A statement from the province said that as communities continue to grow, local governments are having to meet the increased strain on infrastructure and amenities; including, roads, transit, water and electrical systems, as well as community centres, parks and social services.
In addition to the $1,9 million Lake Cowichan will receive, North Cowichan will get $7.7 million, the Cowichan Valley Regional District is earmarked for more than $5.6 million, Ladysmith will receive $3.4 million and Duncan will get $2.1 million.
The CVRD passed a budget last week that will see its property owners having to deal with an average tax increase of 11.49 per cent in 2023, and McGonigle said at that district board meeting on May 8 that the saving grace for the CVRD was the announcement of the funding from the Growing Communities Fund.
“That could go towards some impacts of infrastructure deficits in the regional district which could have significant impacts on future years in the budget process,” he said.
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