Municipal projects often come about with grants from the provincial and federal governments, but mayors from around B.C. would like to revisit the grant process.
The grant system was one of the topics at the B.C. Mayors’ Caucus held in Penticton last week.
Summerland Mayor Janice Perrino said the present system forces communities to compete with each other for limited funds.
“It feels like such a fight for grant money,” she said. “You’re forced by the system, by the way it works.”
Under the present grant system, money is made available for specific types of public projects, such as green initiatives.
Communities then submit grants for specific projects which fall under the parameters of the grant.
In Summerland, grant money has paid some of the costs of the sewer system, the water treatment plant, the expansion of Thirsk Dam, the construction of the new RCMP facility and upgrades to Rosedale Avenue and Peach Orchard Road, among others.
“We couldn’t have done our water treatment plant without grants,” Perrino said. “We couldn’t have done our sewer treatment system.”
While Perrino believes the funding is necessary, she said the process must be improved.
“Let’s open it up to a more fair system,” she said.
The concern about grant funding is a common frustration among mayors and councils, Perrino said.