The City of Duncan will receive $1.57 million from the province to help offset costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding is coming from the “COVID‐19 Safe Restart Grants for Local Governments”, which is being administered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
The funding is intended to help the city cover its increased operating costs and any decreased revenue attributed to the pandemic response, which has severely impacted the region beginning in March.
It will also ensure local governments can continue to deliver the services people depend on in their communities.
The Municipality of North Cowichan announced last week that it will receive $4.4 million from the program, and the Cowichan Valley Regional District will receive $903,000.
“These funds from the government are appreciated and will assist the city in addressing some of the challenges arising from the pandemic. Council will work with staff at a future meeting to discuss and determine direction,” Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples said.
In September, the province announced almost $2 billion in joint federal/provincial spending, including: $540 million for local governments, $418 million for community infrastructure, and $1 billion for transit, TransLink and ferries due to the fiscal impacts that COVID-19 has had on local service providers.
The $540 million for local governments was further divided into three funding streams.
Two of the streams (“Development Services” for $15 million and “Strengthening Communities” for $100 million) will be application‐based funding.
The funding for the City of Duncan has been provided through the third stream which provided local governments with direct grants, up to $425 million, for local operations impacted by COVID‐19.
The City of Duncan has maintained services through the pandemic, with COVID-19 protocols in place.
However, the city did postpone some capital projects into 2021 as a precaution.