The Regional District of Nanaimo has secured more than $13 million in grant money thus far in 2021 and is anxious to hear about some of the applications that are outstanding.
A summary of grant applications, effective to May 15, was brought before the RDN board at its June 8 meeting, which stated that19 applications were successful, totalling $13.6 million. There was one unsuccessful application in that time and the fates of 29 applications, to the tune of about $28 million, are pending, the report said.
In an e-mail, Michael Wright, RDN manager of strategic initiatives and asset management, told the News Bulletin one of the successful applications was $4.8 million for transit service as part of the B.C. government’s ‘Safe Restart’ money for public transportation in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Among applications awaiting a decision is one for the community emergency preparedness fund, through the Union of B.C. Municipalities, for river hazard mapping for Nanaimo River, including coastal risk assessment. Wright said the RDN applied for a $75,000 grant.
The Cedar area saw significant flooding in February 2020. Percy Tipping, North Cedar fire chief, was part of the rescue effort and said he would welcome the hazard mapping and risk-assessment project. Flooding in the area usually occurs when there is significant snow in the mountains, followed by a warming trend, said Tipping, with the low-lying areas of Nanaimo River – Wilkinson, Akenhead and Raines roads – trouble spots.
“I’m always supportive,” said Tipping. “If they’re willing to come up with a report that gives direction to potential mitigation processes or funding for training to help deal with responses, those types of things are always beneficial.”
The one unsuccessful application, according to the report, was to the B.C. and Canadian governments for approximately $435,000 in disaster mitigation and COVID resiliency infrastructure money. The money would have gone towards flood and sea level rise mitigation at a pump station in Parksville.
During the meeting, Kim Fowler, RDN manager of long-range planning, energy and sustainability, told directors the pandemic has affected processing of applications. An application for an electric vehicle charging station was delayed more than a year, she said.
“Even if we get updates and put them in a report, it really depends on these agencies making a decision, given other challenging priorities in dealing with the pandemic, which has taken priority,” Fowler said.