Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb (left) and Coun. Scott Nelson announce a $2.6 million COVID-19 restart grant from the Province of BC Friday afternoon. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb (left) and Coun. Scott Nelson announce a $2.6 million COVID-19 restart grant from the Province of BC Friday afternoon. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake receives $2.6 million from province’s COVID-19 safe restart grant

“This is a huge Christmas present,” said Mayor Walt Cobb



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Christmas has arrived early, said Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb as he announced the City has received $2,618,000 from the provincial government.

“This is going to be a boon for us in our community,” Cobb said, during a press conference outside city hall Friday, Nov. 6, adding the City has shortfalls in the budget that will be helped with the extra money.

The funding is part of the provincial government’s COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant program which will see $425 million distributed to local governments.

Local governments can use it toward addressing revenue shortfalls, facility reopening and operating costs, emergency planning and response costs, bylaw enforcement and protective services such as fire protection and police, computer and other electronic technology costs and services for vulnerable persons.

“We’ve got lots of projects we can identify but I would hope it can go toward paving,” Cobb said.

Nelson thanked Premier John Horgan for the money and said it’s a big sized grant for a community the size of Williams Lake.

This will help the City hold the line on zero tax increases, Nelson added.

Williams Lake will be required to provide full transparency on the use of the funds and annually report to the province on how it is being spent.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, City chief administrative officer Gary Muraca said no decisions have been made yet as to where the money will be spent.

There is a budget meeting on Monday, Nov. 23 and from there Muraca said the City should have some ‘clearer direction from council at that time on budget goals.’

The Cariboo Regional District received $837,000 for its allocation.

Funding details are still being developed for additional funding through the Safe Restart Agreement, the Union of BC Municipalities noted in a press release.



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