Community Works fund set to grow another $162K in 2015

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, April 28 2015

Gabriola, Mudge and DeCourcy Islands will have an estimated $162,510 added to the Electoral Area B Community Works Fund.

The renewed Gas Tax Agreement between Canada, British Columbia, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), and the 2014-2024 Community Works Fund (CWF) agreement between the RDN (Regional District of Nanaimo) and UBCM took effect April 1, 2014.

Under these agreements, local governments receive annual transfers which may be used for local priorities which improve public infrastructure.

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s cumulative fund totals over $6 million, but is broken down into the Electoral Areas for use within the respective communities.

Under the renewed CWF program, the RDN received $1,708,370, including interest (allocated from UBCM and internally through RDN) in 2014/15 and a minimum of $1,596,725 in base funding before interest is expected in 2015/16.

Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, DeCourcy Islands) had, as of Dec. 31, 2014, a balance of $713,053 in the fund. The estimated allocation to Area B for 2015 is $162,510 with projects slated for 2015/2016 using $101,745 of the funds. At the end of the fiscal year, $773,818 is slated to be remaining in the Area B CWF.

Projects funded already in Area B through the CWF were the Gabriola Island Community Bus (GERTIE) with a budget of $70,500; Gabriola Village Trail Design Phase ($65,000 budget); and the Gabriola Commons Solar Array with a $20,000 budget.

Howard Houle, Regional Director for RDN Area B, has said that the past couple of years have seen an increase in the access to the funds after there was an expansion of where local governments could allocate funds.

In terms of future plans, Houle said, “Once we are finished with the Village Trail we will be able to go to work with the community to make Huxley Park a reality.”

He said that once Huxley is completed it will have a playground, a skateboard plaza with a flow track, improved tennis courts, improved sport courts and an outdoor performance space. 

“All of which is much needed. 

“The project being considered after that is cycling infrastructure - with more and more people cycling we will look at making that safer.

“We will be using Gabriola’s cycling plan as a guiding document for this one. The funds that are allotted to Area B from the Community Works Fund will move these and possibly other projects forward.”