Courtenay applying for grant to help pay to expand, renovate Lewis Centre

The City of Courtenay hopes a new provincial program will reduce borrowing costs to expand and renovate the Lewis Centre.

The City of Courtenay hopes a new provincial grant program will reduce the City’s borrowing costs for the expansion and renovation of the Lewis Centre.

Council voted Monday that the City will apply for funding through the provincial government’s Community Recreation Grant Program for the Lewis Centre project.

The provincial government recently announced the Community Recreation Grant Program, and $30 million has been allocated for the fund, according to the report from community services director Randy Wiwchar and financial services director Tillie Manthey.

The guidelines for the grant indicate that $400,000 is the range of maximum funding each project may receive, and project selection criteria will be focused on the extent to which the community is advancing the principle of being more physically active and on providing community health benefits, according to the report.

“The Lewis Centre project meets all of the criteria for the grant,” wrote Wiwchar and Manthey. “Health benefits, accessibility, community use, special events, youth and seniors activities, climate action initiatives and energy efficiency are all key components of the Lewis Centre project.”

In October, council voted to borrow up to $4.2 million to renovate and expand the Lewis Centre.

The city received 212 verified elector responses opposing the borrowing through the alternate approval process, a fraction of the 1,802 responses needed to force a referendum.

The entire renovation and expansion project — which  includes adding 14,000 square feet at the back of the centre, providing a new weightroom and space for meeting, storage, crafts and special needs — is expected to cost about $5.4 million. City staff is projecting that $1 million would come from Community Works Fund gas tax reserves to fund mechanical and ventilation upgrades, while $4.2 million would come from new borrowing.

Coun. Larry Jangula said he was “kind of torn” about the grant.

“I’m in favour of applying for the money, but I’m sort of between a rock and a hard place,” he said. “A lot of people when I was campaigning had real concerns about spending this money without any input.”

Coun. Jon Ambler wasn’t torn at all.

“The input is called the alternate approval process, and if people don’t take advantage of it, it’s their problem, not mine,” he said. “What the staff is proposing to do is something I love to see them do, and that’s spend other people’s money. I think that’s what we should be doing, and I look forward to getting our fair share and then applying it to this project.”

Coun. Doug Hillian agreed that the opportunity for input was there during the alternate approval process.

“I know there’s been some discussion of this during the election campaign, but essentially this is a decision of council,” he said. “The majority of the people who made the decision are, in fact, back at the council table, and I would certainly endorse proceeding with this.”

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A photo of the missing mushroom pickers from the Lil’Wat Nation near Pemberton: River Leo (left) and dad Peter Oleski. Facebook photo/Sea to Sky Road Conditions page
Two Comox Valley-based search organizations assisting in missing Pemberton mushroom pickers

Two members from the Lil’Wat Nation were last seen Oct. 22

Students at Ecole Puntledge Park Elementary kicked off the Everybody Deserves A Smile (EDAS) campaign in 2019. Scott Stanfield photo
Everybody Deserves a Smile campaign adapts to COVID-19 challenges

“We didn’t want to lose our heartfelt hands-on approach.”

Wind and waves were part of the reason why the Sail Canada High Performance Team selected HMCS Quadra as the winter training base for Tokyo 2021. Photo by Ken Dool
National sailing team prepares for Olympics at HMCS Quadra in Comox

HMCS Quadra is serving as the winter training base for the Canadian… Continue reading

Courtenay residents will have a substantial schedule change for curbside trash collection beginning in January 2021. (Ben Lypka/Black Press file)
Courtenay moving to a zone system for curbside trash collection

New system means collection days will change with every statutory holiday

A jubilant Ronna-Rae Leonard salutes the crowd at her victory party at the Avalanche Bar & Grill. (photo by Scott Stanfield)
UPDATE: Leonard declared early winner for Courtenay-Comox

NDP incumbent held similar margin of lead throughout the evening

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Harvesters participating in the extended commercial halibut season will need to land their catch in either Prince Rupert (pictured), Vancouver, or Port Hardy by Dec. 14. (File photo)
B.C.’s commercial halibut season extended three weeks

COVID-19 market disruptions at the root of DFO’s decision

Most Read