Golden getting priorities straight as federal funds will soon be available

MP David Wilks recommends Golden get ready to send in proposals for the federal government's $2.7 billion Community Improvement Fund.

The Town of Golden is going to be working on it’s priorities for capital projects in the near future after MP David Wilks informed council that the federal government will put out the call for proposals for their $2.7 billion Community Improvement Fund in late fall.

Wilks is recommending to the municipalities in his riding that they each submit five proposals considered to be high priority, and keep the requests between $3 million and $15 million per proposal.

For any of these projects, the municipality would be expected to put up one third of the cost.

“If a community throws in 15 applications, it doesn’t do that community any good. What ends up happening is that the reviewers pick the one that is the easiest to do. But if you give them five that are substantial, and each one of them makes a difference to your community, then you won’t be disappointed,” said Wilks.

The Community Improvement Fund, funded through the Gas Tax Fund and the GST Rebate for Municipalities, is there to provide municipalities with the money to undertake infrastructure projects such as roads and recreational facilities. For this round of projects, the government will give out $2.7 billion, $500-700 million of that Wilks predicts will go to British Columbia.

During his presentation to Golden council, Wilks also discussed the road conditions on Highway 1. He has a meeting planned with the federal minister of transportation to talk about upcoming four-laning projects, and has also been in contact with Golden’s MLA Norm Macdonald.

Construction in the national parks is very complicated, so Wilks suggested maybe making Donald to Golden a priority. Wilks estimates that any highway project in this area would cost about $1 million per kilometre.