Penticton hoping it can turn $10,000 into $10 million national prize | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton hoping it can turn $10,000 into $10 million national prize

FILE PHOTO - Penticton City Councilllors, from left, Tarik Sayeed, Campbell Watt, Helena Konanz, Mayor Andrew Jakubeit, Judy Sentes, Andre Martin and Max Picton will hear a request for funding for an application to the federal Smart Cities Challenge at tomorrow's council meeting, Jan. 8, 2018.
January 08, 2018 - 7:00 PM

PENTICTON - City of Penticton staff hopes a $10,000 investment will win them a $10 million dollar prize from the federal government.

The prize - actually two prizes - of up to $10 million are available to all Canadian communities under 500,000 population through the Smart Cities Challenge, a Canadian competition initiated by the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities to encourage innovation, data and connected technology.

Penticton is expected to kick in $10,000 to beef up its application, money that will be lost if the city is among the many communities not chosen, but Penticton's director of development services, Anthony Haddad, says this isn't really a gamble. He says the funds requested will go towards public engagement and involvement in the community, in addition to assisting in putting the application together. The funds would come from the city’s economic development budget.

Haddad feels the city has a good head start in meeting the deadline for submission proposals, as the community has been engaged in a number of topics and issues where the city’s unique challenges have been identified in the past two years.

“With the deadline coming up quickly, the opportunity to identify those challenges puts us in a really good position to get out ahead of the game, compared to other communities,” he said.

Staff believe outside consulting may be needed for the city to submit its application by the deadline of April 24, but the majority of work done to complete the application is expected to come from city staff and community volunteers.

In total, up for grabs is one prize of $50 million, open to all Canadian communities, two prizes of up to $10 million, open to all communities with populations of 500,000 or under, and a single prize of $5 million, open to all communities of populations under 30,000 people.

Final proposals are due in the summer of 2018, with the winner’s announcements scheduled for spring of 2019.

City staff will present a recommendation to City Council at tomorrow’s regular meeting to authorize up to $10,000 to be spent on the city’s application.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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