Numerous Comox Valley projects have received grants through the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program.
The Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development announced that the Town of Comox has been granted $1 million for its marina project. The funds will go towards the construction of indoor and outdoor commercial and retail space in the Comox Marina.
Comox Mayor Russ Arnott said many different people deserve credit for this grant coming to fruition.
“There was a lot of hard work put into this,” he said. “John Watson, from the (Comox Valley Economic Development Society) and his team, our CEO and staff, all worked really hard to get this thing going and get it in, because it was a tight deadline. They had to get (the grant request) in quickly, so it was all hands on deck, and here we are now with a million dollars to further enhance our marina experience. And (Courtenay-Comox MLA) Ronna-Rae Leonard was a huge help as well.”
Arnott could not give a definitive date for the beginning of construction, although as per terms of the grant, the project must start by the end of 2021 and must be completed by March 2023.
“We want to start moving on it, but we don’t want to see construction during the middle of the summer, either,” Arnott said.
The project will not only enhance the marina experience, but will help the economy, both short-term, with the construction aspect, and long-term, with the retail outlets.
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport announced a couple of Comox Valley projects among its $20 million in funding.
The K’omoks Economic Development Corporation has received $485,662 for an expansion of the K’ómoks First Nation – Puntledge RV campground. The money will be used to add 18 RV sites with full hookups including water, sewer, and electrical servicing.
The Hornby Island Arts Council received $500,000 towards the construction of the new community arts centre and environs.
Comox Valley Regional District Area A director Daniel Arbour was happy to hear about the approval of the grant application.
“These are exciting times on Hornby… with this CERIP announcement an incredible Arts Centre facility (will) see the light of day,” he said. “This is what happens when strong partnerships form around clear and common goals. Thanks to HIAC for their work, and the province for their support.”
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs announced $30 million in project funding, including two Comox Valley projects.
The Black Creek Community Association (BCCA) has been given $398,970 to build a covered outdoor space at the community centre.
“This covered structure will have an enormous impact on the Black Creek Community Centre, and our ability to deliver safe recreational programming even in the midst of a pandemic,” said BCCA chair Jerry Griffin. “It allows our community to get out of their houses and back into healthy activities in a well ventilated, weather-protected environment.”
BCCA executive director Dana Starritt said the grant will also kickstart the local economy.
“We will be using local labour, locally sourced materials, and local businesses for all aspects of the project, and hope to be creating income opportunities for many instructors, entertainers, and local artisans, farmers and other home-based business owners who will use the space for classes, markets and events,” she said, in a press release.
“Community halls are re-emerging as valuable assets in our rural communities, and provincial funding like this allows them to keep building upon what our original settlers began a couple generations back,” added Area C director Edwin Grieve.
Additionally, the Village of Cumberland has received a $169,000 infusion for the Cumberland Lake Park Waterfront Infrastructure Renewal project. The project objective is to implement access and layout improvements to the park’s boat launch facility and adjacent waterfront areas.
“We are very excited about this and what it’s going to mean for the campground,” said Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird. “It will really raise the bar for the campground, and it’s a project that we would not have been able to do without the funding.”
“In these rough times, it’s great to be able to look forward to having new spaces to enjoy in our community,” said Leonard of the projects in her constituency (Comox Marina, Puntledge RV campground, Black Creek Community Centre). “These projects will give a double-benefit of boosting our local economy and building things that people will be able to use in their everyday lives.”