Nanaimo could receive millions of dollars in federal funding to help build the next stretch of the waterfront walkway.
According to a city press release, the federal government has conditionally allocated $3.8 million in funding from the federal gas tax fund towards the walkway project, a $41-million, multi-phased project that would see the seawall extended between Departure Bay and the Nanaimo River Estuary over a 10-year period.
RELATED: Draft plan presented for Nanaimo’s waterfront walkway
In order for to receive the $3.8 million, the city will need to meet all regulatory approvals, required leases and agreements within a year. Should the city fail to do so, it will not receive the federal funding.
Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay told the News Bulletin that he was pleased to learn about the announcement, but pointed out that it all depends on meeting the federal government’s conditions and did not say whether he thought the city could meet those conditions.
“We’re very pleased with this funding announcement. Nanaimo’s waterfront walkway allows all members of our community, no matter their ability, to enjoy our beautiful waterfront…” said McKay in the press release. “With today’s announcement, we are able to proceed with two critical sections. On behalf of council, I thank our staff for their efforts in obtaining this very important funding commitment.”
The Union of B.C. Municipalities administers the gas tax fund in partnership with the federal and provincial governments.
“Nanaimo’s waterfront walkway is such a great asset to the community and will make a positive impact in the lives of the people who live here. This is a great example of how a partnership between all levels of government can do great things when we all work together,” said Leonard Krog, Nanaimo MLA, in the press release.
Councillors approved the plan in December and design work has already begun on the first phase of the project, which calls for construction of a walkway between B.C. Ferries’ Departure Bay terminal and White Eagle Terrace and a section along the south downtown waterfront. The city has budgeted $4.4 million for the first phase and expects the work to be completed by next year.