February 09, 2016 - 8:00 PM
PENTICTON - Failed expectations that grant funding would come through left city council rallying to find an alternative solution to fund the downtown revitalization project.
Council met this morning, Feb. 9, to discuss the how to replace the more than $2.4 million worth of funding from the New Infrastructure Canada Small Communities Fund and the Gas Tax Fund they expected would help fund the next phase of the downtown revitalization project, which is scheduled to begin this spring.
The total cost of the project is estimated at more than $4.2 million.
The Downtown Penticton Association discussed the issue at a meeting last week and decided it would support construction of the 200-block of Main Street this spring and the 100-block in the fall, with a request to staff to address the funding shortfall through the budget.
The city currently has about $1.5 million in available funding, Acting Chief Administrative Officer Mitch Moroziuk told council, suggesting the remaining estimated cost of more than $2.7 million be found through alternate funding sources and inter-fund reserve borrowing.
Moving forward on the project would result in a reduction in certain reserve funds, which could reduce the future ability of the city to move forward on other plans, such as the SS Sicamous Master Plan and Facility Master Plan projects.
The 2016 budget requisition, recently approved at a 5.5 per cent increase over last year, would not be affected by the budget changes affecting the Main Street project.
Council agreed to eliminate the proposed LED light canopy from the 100-block of Main Street and reallocating that project’s $394,000 budget to the revitalization project. The city will also allocate $1.3 million in gas tax funds toward the project. A further $875,000 will be authorized through inter-fund reserve borrowing in advance of the 2017 budget.
Work on the 200-block of Main Street is expected to begin in March, with a completion date of June. The 100-block portion of the work is scheduled for the fall of 2016, following the Challenge Triathlon.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016