COQUITLAM, BC, Sept. 28, 2021 – Coquitlam’s successful grant requests are funneling millions in provincial and federal funding into important community projects.
Three recent grants totaling more than $5.5 million will pay for City recreational facility upgrades, new sidewalks, supports for homeless and other vulnerable people, and an efficient new online system for development and building permits.
Grants Free Up Funds for Other Services
As part of its fiscally responsible approach, the City works throughout the year to research and secure grant opportunities and seek corporate partnerships and other funding sources to augment revenue from property taxes.
This approach helps the City improve services or deliver projects earlier and with less impact on taxpayers. In some cases, the grants support local services that might not typically be provided by the City but are important for community resiliency.
Funding for Social Supports, Service Efficiency and Recreation
An example of a City grant that will deliver community benefits beyond the typical scope of local government is the $306,000 received in August through a Strengthening Communities Program grant, funded by the provincial government and administered by the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM).
While this grant included about $35,000 for staff training and education on homelessness, the majority flowed through the City to the Phoenix Society for outreach and mental health workers (about $200,000) and to the Hope for Freedom Society for homeless outreach workers (about $70,000).
Just announced, Coquitlam has secured a $500,000 grant to help construct 600 metres of new sidewalk this fall on the north side of Austin Avenue between Guilby and Walker streets. The project will complete the sidewalk along the north side of Austin, providing another safe pedestrian option along this important transportation spine.
Another recent grant will help improve City service delivery and efficiency. Coquitlam received a $465,000 grant last month through the provincial Local Government Development Approvals Program, also administered by the UBCM, to create an online portal for development and building permits.
The new system will automate and simplify many aspects of the permit application process for housing and other construction projects, provide applicants more information as their applications are processed, and improve communication between the City and applicants.
Also in August, Coquitlam received $4.4 million for the Spani Outdoor Pool renewal project through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, including $2.4 million in federal funds and about $2 million in provincial funds.
With construction anticipated to begin in fall 2022, the Spani renewal project will transform the popular 50-year-old Mundy Park pool into a fun, inclusive and sustainable facility with a renovated lap pool, a new leisure pool with shallow beach entry, splash area and lazy river, a new hot pool and other amenities. Additional public engagement on this project is scheduled for this fall.
Updates on these projects will be provided in the months ahead.
General Manager, Finance, Lands and Police
City of Coquitlam