The City of Grand Forks received a $1.35 million provincial grant to offset city revenues lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “COVID‐19 Safe Re-start” grant comes with strings attached by the federal and provincial governments, who put up the money.
Re-start grants went to local governments across British Columbia to “ensure [they] can continue to deliver the services people depend on in their communities,” according to a letter from Ministry of Housing and Municipal Affairs. The bulk of the money will go to “addressing revenue shortfalls” that would normally come through city taxes and city-owned facilities like community centres and sporting venues.
Grant money can also go toward community first responders, city bylaw enforcement and for programming for “vulnerable persons,” the ministry’s letter stipulated.
City hall is required to show how it will spend the grant, as per section 167 of the Community Charter.
Grand Forks’ grant was determined on a per capita basis, according to its population in 2018.
Chief Administrative Officer Duncan Redfearn said the grant will go towards spending commitments in Grand Forks’ 2021 budget, yet to be determined. The re-start grant amounts to around 10 per cent of the city’s average annual budget excluding additional grants, he explained.