In the fall, the City of Courtenay received a $4.149 million ‘COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant’ to assist with increased operating costs and lower revenue as a result of the pandemic. The money cannot be used to reduce 2021 taxes.
For 2012, staff recommends spending $100,000 on City Hall renovations, $84,000 on bylaw enforcement and $200,000 on a downtown washroom. Staff also recommends leaving $200,000 available for unexpected costs, revenue losses or for use at council’s discretion — within eligible funding categories outlined by the provincial government.
Wendy Morin anticipates council will receive requests for assistance from groups that are caring for people in the community.
“While I appreciate there may be many unmet needs in the community, I think we have to be very careful about not encouraging people to come to us for grants,” Coun. Doug Hillian said at the Jan. 25 meeting. “We’ve suspended our grant program for this year, and we don’t know the full impact of COVID on our taxpayers, particularly our business community. Obviously if people come forward, we need to look at valid requests, but I think we have to be cautious in how we move through this period.”