Cranbrook eyes infrastructure funding program

Small communities invited to apply for infrastructure funding

Infrastructure funding is always a hot topic in Cranbrook, but help could be on the way from provincial and federal governments.

Smaller communities will soon be eligible to apply for funding to support local infrastructure projects as part of the federal Building Canada Fund, as part of a joint announcement from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Starting Oct. 22, communities can apply for funding that supports infrastructure projects of significance, such as drinking water, wastewater, road improvement, green infrastructure, as well as local and regional airport projects.

“We are committed to building strong communities by supporting collaborative, innovative and fiscally responsible programs,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “This funding will help build community infrastructure projects including transportation projects, an important part of our 10-year transportation plan, which will look at every facet of transportation in B.C. to prioritize projects for investment.”

The Small Communities Fund, which is a dedicated source of funding through the New Building Canada Fund, is part of a federal program to to promote economic growth, job creation and productivity.

The total value of the funding program is up to $327 million over 10 years.

According to city officials, Cranbrook will be looking to apply for funding from the program to support local projects that could include replacement of the dam at Idlewild Lake, the transfer pipe at the sewage lagoons and spray irrigation equipment and 2nd Street South for the replacement of water and sewer and road.

“This funding will help communities invest in key infrastructure priorities—projects that treat wastewater, provide cleaner drinking water, or make improvements to transit or roads,” added Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “These are projects that are crucial to healthy, vibrant communities.”

This past May, a renewed Federal Gas Tax Fund agreement was signed by the province, federal government and Union of British Columbia Municipalities. That agreement will provide approximately 2.76 billion in new funding for B.C. communities over the next 10 years.