The Town of Creston announced in a Nov. 17 media release that they have been selected as a recipient for funding support through the provincial government’s Economic Recovery Plan, where the town will receive $1.6 million to assist with operational costs and revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This will certainly help to ease some of the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community,” said Mayor Ron Toyota. “As we head into our annual budget discussions, council has been monitoring the increases in operating budget expenditures as a result of the pandemic, and trying to find savings to offset these new costs.”
The funding comes from the “Canada-B.C.Safe Restart Fund for Local Governments” financial support stream, where the federal and provincial have committed to distributing $425 million across local governments to address facility reopenings and operating costs, emergency response costs, lost revenues and other COVID-19-related impacts.
“This grant will help to ensure that we can continue to maintain service levels and absorb some of those pandemic related cost increases to the municipality for our taxpayers,” said Toyota.
Michael Moore, the chief administrative officer (CAO) for the Town of Creston, said that the town is “so appreciative” of the funding support, highlighting the increase in expenses for operating essential services for residents that could remain in place for an unknown period of time.
“We are fortunate that our revenues have not been significantly affected as it has other municipalities, but we also don’t know how long the pandemic will be here,” said Moore. “There are risks to operating expenses and revenue the longer the pandemic impacts our community, our province and the country.”
Last week, the Town confirmed that there are positive cases of COVID-19 in the community. They have recommended that residents wear a mask in all indoor public spaces.
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