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New infrastructure funds flowing to Fraser-Fort George communities

Communities in the Fraser-Fort George region are receiving a combined $22.3 million from the Province to help address long-standing infrastructure needs and support planning for future opportunities.

The following communities in Fraser-Fort George will receive the new grant:

  • Fraser-Fort George Regional District: $4,182,000
  • Prince George: $8,135,000
  • McBride: $2,389,000
  • Valemount: $2,882,000
  • Mackenzie: $4,727,000

The grant payments are part of the recently announced $100-million Northern Capital and Planning Grant, which provides funding for infrastructure and long-term planning to four regional districts (Fraser-Fort George, Bulkley-Nechako, Kitimat-Stikine and North Coast) and their 22 participating municipalities.

“We’ve been hearing from local governments in northern B.C. about the challenges they face funding much-needed upgrades to their aging infrastructure, and I know this new grant will help close the gap,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “With this funding, communities can start moving forward on the initiatives they need to seize opportunities now and down the road.”

Local governments may use the grant to meet an immediate infrastructure need for their community, save it for a future opportunity, or leverage it to secure other sources of funding, including borrowing, reserves and other grant programs, to cover major infrastructure and long-term planning initiatives.

“The funding from the Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go a long way in helping us maintain and improve the infrastructure we have, enhancing the liveability of our rural communities within the Fraser-Fort George region,” said Art Kaehn, chair of the Fraser-Fort George Regional District board.

The release of funds to local governments follows the announcement of the Northern Capital and Planning Grant by Premier John Horgan and Robinson on Feb. 16, 2019.

“The District of Mackenzie is very appreciative to the Province for the Northern Capital and Planning Grant,” said Joan Atkinson, mayor of Mackenzie. “This funding will accelerate the district’s efforts to implement our asset management plan and address our aging infrastructure, while minimizing the impact to our reserves and the taxpayers in our community.”

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant is part of the Province’s commitment to northern mayors to make sure local workers and communities can reap the full benefits of resource development in their region.

Quotes:

Gene Runtz, mayor of McBride –

“We will use these funds for future infrastructure needs to ensure the village can deliver sustainable services. These funds will promote the social, economic and environmental well-being of our community and contribute to its quality of life. Thank you for your confidence in the future of northern communities.”

Owen Torgerson, mayor of Valemount –

“I would like to thank the Province for acknowledging the importance of northern B.C. communities through this funding announcement. The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will create an opportunity for the Village of Valemount to address infrastructure needs that are specifically unique to our community. We appreciate the approach taken by the provincial government; this funding program allows us the flexibility to address specific capital projects that may be of immediate importance, or to utilize funding for long-term infrastructure planning.”

Quick Facts:

  • The LNG Canada facility is expected to bring an influx of people into the region. The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will help local governments improve infrastructure and services for the new and existing population.
  • The 22 municipalities received a total of $83.7 million and the four regional districts received $16.3 million.
  • Small communities received a larger proportional share of the grant to compensate for their reduced commercial and industrial tax base.

A backgrounder follows.


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