Both Langley Township and City are considering applying for new provincial infrastructure grants that will support millions of dollars in construction.
The province announced on Tuesday, Dec. 1 that local governments, First Nations communities, and not-for-profit groups are eligible for almost $136 million in funding through a federal-provincial partnership.
Dubbed the COVID-19 Resilience Initiative Stream (CVRIS) the funds are for retrofits, rehabilitation, and upgrades to goverment building, COVID-19 response infrastructure, transportation and disaster mitigation.
“This new fund will create new opportunities for communities to build the infrastructure needed to help them respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Josie Osborne, B.C.’s Minister of Municipal Affairs. “The accelerated approval process is part of our efforts to support economic recovery for people and communities in B.C. by identifying projects for funding as early as spring 2021.”
About $80 million of the money will be handed out through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and another $56 million will go for flood prevention projects under the umbrella of Emergency Management B.C.
Langley Township has flood-prevention infrastructure along the Fraser River, where a number of dikes were built decades ago to keep out floodwaters.
Both City and Township spokespeople confirmed that they are looking into the grants.
“The City of Langley learned about the announcement today [Dec. 1] and will be creating a list of projects that fits the criteria,” said communications officer Samantha Paulson. “We work with City council to determine the project and submit one application.”
“Yes, the Township of Langley is currently reviewing the application criteria with the intent of proceeding with seeking funding assistance in the areas identified in the Township’s long-term financial plans and current budgets, as approved by council,” a Township represenative said. “At this time, we have not identified specific projects.”
Municipal governments will be have to put up part of the money themselves, but the CVRIS money could pay for up to 80 per cent of some projects.
In addition to disaster prevent, a variety of projects from hospital upgrades to bike paths could be considered.