A majority of the proposed cultural centre in Vernon will be funded by senior governments — if local politicians get what they want.
The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has decided to apply for 23.57 million dollars in grants from the federal and provincial governments for the new facility planned for the former Coldstream Hotel site downtown.
GVAC chair Akbal Mund says that figure represents two-thirds of the building and construction of the facility.
“It doesn’t include the furniture fixtures and the contingency amounts, because there is other land amount in there as well, so were looking at two-thirds of the amount of the building and construction of the facility,” Mund tells Beach Radio News.
Mund says other grants will also be sought, which he says could reduce the burden on Greater Vernon ratepayers who approved borrowing up to 25 million dollars for the project in an October referendum.
“This is the whole plan is to try to apply for as many different grants. This is just one grant. There will be other grants that we apply for. Nothing guaranteed, but we will ask big, and see what we get.”
Director Jim Garlick, who is Coldstream’s mayor, was responsible for getting the committee to put more thought into seeking more government grant money after Regional District of North Okanagan staff originally recommended seeking $12.83 million.
“We’ve always been willing to pay for everything,” Garlick told directors back in November. “We’ve been underserved by grants.”
Mund says the decision to apply for the $23.57 million from the Canada-BC Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program was made after a 90 minute discussion at Thursday’s GVAC meeting.
“The due date (to apply) is middle of January. It will be sometime next year, when we find out (how much they will receive).”
Mund says construction of the centre won’t start until at least 15 million dollars in grant and other funding has been secured.
Mund tells Beach Radio News there is no downside to seeking as much funding as they can from Ottawa and Victoria: