CRD director Joan Sorley

CRD director Joan Sorley

Pool upgrade gets $4 million gas tax funding

Local politicians were all smiles Friday as a $4 million gas tax grant was announced for the pool upgrade in Williams Lake.

Local politicians were all smiles Friday as a $4 million gas tax grant was announced for the Sam Ketcham Pool upgrade at the West Fraser Aquatic Centre in Williams Lake.

“These funds will help support the construction of infrastructure improvements that will provide a better standard of living for residents across all of B.C.,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “The grant in Williams Lake was one of $69 million in funding for 27 capital projects announced in the province Friday.”

Cariboo Regional District (CRD) manager of community services Darren Campbell said the funding is a huge bonus and will go a long way toward the cost of the $11.3 million project.

“We have authority to borrow $10 million so this will probably see us borrowing less at the end of the project,” Campbell said. “It also helps with the lower Canadian dollar and means we won’t have to be taking things out of the design. It’s nice to have.”

The Union of BC Municipalities administers the federal gas tax fund in B.C. in partnership with the federal and provincial government.

UBCM president and CRD chair Al Richmond said the fund is there to help local governments accelerate their capital investment plans.

The project is on date with its projected timeline and shovels are expected to hit the ground March 7.

This week the Sam Ketcham Pool working group provided letters of intent to Williams Lake area contractors RL7 Mechanical and MacKay Electric Ltd. for the initial work to prepare portions of the building for demolition.