Within the last two years, the City of Parksville has received nearly $4 million in grant revenue.
A report of the city’s grant program was presented to Parksville city council during the regular meeting on March 21.
The report indicated the city received $3,878,000 in total for various projects. It does not include gas tax funds or recent provincial COVID related grants.
“Early in council’s term of office, staff was directed to apply for as many grants as possible. The report in your agenda summarizes the grant process over the past two years… Just short of $4 million in grants were received to help fund community projects such as the outdoor stage – the gathering place, playground upgrades in the Parksville Community Park, as well as the storm water management master plan and archaeological assessment,” said Deb Tardiff, manager of communications for the city. “I’m hoping this report will give you a sense of the significant staff time required through the grant process.”
Since 2020, the city has successfully received eight grants. The three unsuccessful applications include sports upgrades to the community park, safety and accessibility improvements to the volleyball court area in the community park, and training centre improvements for the Parksville Fire Department.
There are currently two grants pending.
The two grants with the most funding have been for renovations to the Parksville Community Centre/BGCCVI Parksville Child and Family Centre from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, awarded at 100 per cent in the amount $2,034,829 in March 2021; and for improvements to public spaces in Parksville Community Park for the outdoor theatre from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Community, Culture and Recreation Stream and was awarded at 73.33 per cent in the amount of $1,263,521 in July 2020.
Tardiff said the process to receive grants is lengthy and involves prior research, identifying a grant, submission, reporting, and management of the new asset.
“Resource-wise, is fairly intensive,” she said.” And it’s safe to say that all aspects of the grant process are actually done from the corner of staff desks.”
“With the workload you have now and with the number of grants that we can apply for, are we missing any grants? Do you feel like we’re getting our share, or are there too many grants to cover?” asked Coun. Al Greir during discussion.
Tardiff said she thought the city could do better, as there are many smaller grants that range between $50,000 to $100,000 that staff don’t typically apply for since the time involved is just as great as for larger grants.
“But that’s still $100,000 that we could be getting for a project that maybe is an improvement in the community park,” she said.