By Andrew Mitchell
Small towns across the province may have reason to celebrate in the New Year with the provincial government announcing three new grant programs targetted at smaller communities such as Whistler.
The Towns for Tomorrow program has a pool of $21 million for infrastructure projects such as water quality improvements, recreation and cultural amenities, environmental energy improvements, protective and emergency services infrastructure, and community development. Under the formula the province will provide up to 80 per cent of funding for approved projects, with communities paying the remaining 20 per cent. The maximum total value allowed is $500,000.
The first round of applications have to be submitted by Feb. 16, 2007, and applications are available at www.townsfortomorrow.gov.bc.ca .
The LocalMotion Fund includes $40 million for small communities to build cycling and pedestrian pathways, improve safety and accessibility, and support children’s activity programs in playgrounds. The goal is to reduce air pollution, improve physical fitness and safety, and meet needs of groups like seniors, young families, and people with disabilities.
Under the cost-share program, the province will provide 50 per cent of funding for approved projects, up to a maximum of $1 million per year over four years. More information is at www.localmotion.gov.bc.ca .
Last but not least is the $20 million Sprit Square Program, which provides money for communities across B.C. to create or enhance public celebration spaces. Funding is on a 50-50 basis, with a maximum provincial contribution up to $500,000. For more information visit www.spiritsquares.bc.ca.