Oliver used some of their COVID-19 Safe Restart grant funds to make safety improvements to their Town Hall. (Google Maps photo)

Oliver breaks down use of COVID-19 recovery funds

The town will be saving a portion of the $1.59 million they received from the province

  • Jan. 8, 2021 12:00 a.m.

The Town of Oliver has put together plans on how to use some of the $1.59 million COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant funds they received.

The funds, part of the province’s $425 million in municipal support, are intended to support local governments with dealing with increased operating costs and reduced revenues from COVID-19.

The town of Oliver is looking at using $626,000 of the funds they received for costs and shortfalls in 2020’s budget.

READ MORE: RDOS, Keremeos, Oliver, Osoyoos to receive Safe Restart grant funding

That is broken up into $541,000 to make up for reduced revenue, and $85,000 to cover increased costs.

Revenue for 2020 was lowered through reductions to water, sewer and solid waste user fees, as well as reductions to tax and utility penalties, as approved by town council.

Increased costs included council relocating to Venables Theatre to maintain COVID-19 safety protocols, improvements to town hall, council chambers and the finance building, and purchasing of safety equipment.

The remaining $965,000 would be carried over to 2021.

Other organizations in the area, such as the Oliver Tourism Association and the Oliver Parks and Recreation have both indicated that they are expecting shortfalls in their budgets of $65,000 and $243,000 respectively.

These organizations are funded through the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen and Electoral Area C of the RDOS, with town staff noting in their report to council that if Area C wishes to contribute funds to address those shortfalls that town council might want to contribute as well.

The RDOS also received $773,000 as part of the Safe Restart Grant funding.

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