Grande Prairie City councillors are mulling over the specifics of several projects after approving the transfer of over $7 million to COVID 19 Resilience programming from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s Transit funding. As part of a special meeting of council on Tuesday, councillors approved several general capital projects totaling $9,141,400.
While no specifics were discussed, a general break down of the allocated funding was agreed upon:
- Parks + Playgrounds = $900,000
- Trees- New + Replacements – $229,000
- Trails & Pedestrian Bridges – $1,372,600
- Baseball Diamonds – $1,000,000
- COVID Response – $150,000
- Emergency Response & Activity Center – $4,000,000
- Recreation Improvements – $1,250,000
- Cultural Improvements – $40,000
- Community Improvements – $200,000
Mayor Bill Given says the transfer of cash from the transit fund, which accounts for between 40 and 50 per cent of federal funding
on eligible costs to support for public transit infrastructure, will not impact service in the city.
“The transit stream had long term money that was allocated over the next nearly decade,” he says.
“The intent here is to bring the money forward and to allow municipalities if they wished to spend it on community priorities in 2021 to act as an economic stimulus and help build infrastructure that can make communities more resilient to COVID-19 over the next year,” Given adds.
Given says the COVID-19 pandemic has had this impact on our economy that would have been unimaginable before and suggests council, despite having less than a week to make these decisions, were able to convey the wants of residents in short order.
“We are used to budget discussions when we are dealing with big numbers like this, we are used to being in budget and talking about very specific things… and we are also used to having a bit more due diligence done before something arrives in front of us.”
“At this stage, the provincial government required us to provide them an answer by the end of September on, whether or not we wanted to allocate those dollars.. and generally, what types of projects will we be allocating those funds towards.”
No details were provided as to when final decisions on projects will be made.