City of Powell River council has approved a request from Powell River Community Forest to expend $1,648,269.95 on nine projects throughout the community.
At the November 4 city council meeting, finance committee chair councillor George Doubt said in pre-COVID-19 times, the entire community forest board would be in council chambers and council would welcome representatives of the organizations receiving these funds. On November 4, the community forest board and community members were not in attendance, due to the pandemic.
Doubt said quite a number of the allocations are for city projects and all are worthy.
“This money will be very well used and it will constitute a significant contribution,” said Doubt. “It will do good things for all our residents. I support it 100 per cent.”
Mayor Dave Formosa said on behalf of city council and the residents of Powell River, and those in the qathet region, he wished to thank the community forest board for its excellent efforts and hard work in meetings, in trekking through the bush, and taking on all of the projects it takes to run the forestry corporation.
“It’s nice to see that forestry is well and alive in Powell River,” said Formosa. “This is how a renewable industry gives back. We are all very proud.”
In terms of projects being funded, the first was to the city for a contribution to the airport runway extension phase one, for a total of $700,000.
Carlson Community Club will receive $85,800 for club building renovation projects.
Powell River Kings Hockey Club, in cooperation with the city, will be receiving $155,827 for dressing room upgrades.
The city has been earmarked for up to $300,000 for an all-ages-and-abilities active transportation grant, with an application for 50 per cent in matching funds.
The city will also be receiving $245,271 for provincial enabling accessibility grants for 40 per cent application matching funding.
The city’s sports hall of fame expansion will be funded with $43,000 from the community forest.
Powell River Search and Rescue will be receiving $23,201 for upgrades to its backcountry ATV rescue capacity.
Lift Community Services’ Tooms Tiyah hɛhɛwšin project will be receiving $10,670.
Powell River Brain Injury Society will be given a $74,500 contribution to expand gardening and cooking for the food security project.
A report to city council from chief financial officer Adam Langenmaier stated that there are still a number of grants that have been approved but not yet completed. He stated these projects remain incomplete for various reasons, however, a consistent theme is disruptions due to COVID-19.
With the $1.6 million approved by city council on November 4, there is $1,116,775 remaining for future projects.
At the conclusion of the council meeting, during question period, the Peak asked about the runway extension grant for $700,000. Chief administrative officer Russell Brewer said that part of the money for the extension would be going toward mitigating a landfill on the airport property.
“This will be dealing with the landfill closure as well as the extension at that end,” said Brewer.
Brewer said for the runway extension, the city has also received $1 million from the province.
Mayor Dave Formosa said there have been millions of dollars spent upgrading the airport during the last four or five years.
“Thanks to the federal government for pitching in,” he added.