Cariboo Regional District (CRD) directors are hoping outdoor recreation facilities and societies in the region will tap into the recently announced community economic recovery infrastructure program funding (CERIP).
The program was announced in Oct. 2020 to help communities in B.C. recover from the economic impacts experienced from COVID-19.
CERIP supports job creation through small-scale infrastructure projects, destination and economic development initiatives and cultural heritage projects, the government noted in the program’s guidelines.
During the regular CRD board meeting Friday, Oct. 2, directors received a report from chief administrative officer John MacLean who said the CRD was approached by Mt. Timothy Ski Hill to assist with an application to the program.
“Mountain resorts are eligible for the program, but they must apply in partnership with a local government,” MacLean said.
“It is our recommendation that we proceed to assist Mt. Timothy, and further that we reach out to Troll Mountain to see if they wish to access the program through us as well.”
CRD vice-chair John Massier said he was thankful staff was being proactive in contacting Troll Mountain, but wanted to see staff reaching out even further to other facilities.
“I want to make sure we are reaching out beyond what our thought of a mountain resort is. I think provincially a mountain resort is a specific designation like a Sun Peaks or Whistler, and wanted to make sure this program wasn’t designed just for the big guys, but for the little guys like Mt. Timothy or Troll would be eligible.”
Massier suggested that cross-country and alpine ski clubs, and community clubs that focus on outdoor sports might be interested in pursuing the funding.
MacLean said the program guide is clear that the CRD is allowed two applications, in its own regard.
“From the regional district’s perspective we are actually looking at a project looking at the Anahim Lake airport, focusing on tourism operations that happen out there in achieving certification,” MacLean said.
He also pointed out that entities such as Mt. Timothy Ski Resort has to apply through a local government partner, but that application would not count against the CRD’s own applications.
“Us helping out Troll or Mt. Timothy does not impact our ability to make two applications on our own.”
Other organizations can access the funding directly, it is only the mountain ski resorts that need to work through a local government, he added.
“We need to get people outside doing things, given how they’ve been strained over the last six months and that strain is telling on people,” said Area G director Al Richmond.
“I think this is a positive thing and we need to reach out to every group to see if there is some assistance that might make it easier for them to be open this year. They too are having problems with volunteers because of social distancing as many groups are.”