The City of White Rock has applied for a grant to help fund proposed upgrades to Johnston Road, which are estimated to cost more than $2.3 million.
Council approved setting aside $780,000 in the city’s 2015-2019 Financial Plan last month for upgrades on Johnston Road.
The funds will be reserved for the project in hopes that the city will be selected as a recipient of the New Building Canada Fund’s Small Communities Fund.
Capital cost for the proposed reconstruction of Johnston Road is $2.34 million, with an estimated grant from the fund pegged at $1,560,000 – the maximum amount that could be awarded.
In order to be considered, the city’s share – $780,000 – of the eligible project cost must be set aside in order to ensure the project will go through if selected as a recipient, the city’s director of engineering and municipal operations told council on Feb. 16.
“This is required as part of the application process,” Greg St. Louis said. “They want to make sure that in the application, that the project has full support of council.
“They don’t want municipalities going through applications and have no means of moving forward with the project.”
According to the grant’s criteria, the project must be completed no later than March 31, 2023, however, St. Louis assured council that the timeline would aim for five years.
St. Louis noted that while there are many projects that could use the funding from the provincial/federal grant, the Johnston Road Reconstruction Project would have the greatest chance of being approved under the eligibility requirements of the program.
According to St. Louis’ report, city staff have done “significant research with community partners to establish the need for Johnston Road reconstruction.”
“Two studies completed by the city in 2001 and 2012 recommended significant work should be completed to ensure the safety and improve accessibility to local businesses on Johnston Road,” the report states.
The capital project would see new sidewalks put into place on Johnston Road, making the street more walkable and promoting a “clean mode of transport.”
Other projects considered by White Rock staff for the grant included seismic upgrades at city hall, the purchase of EPCOR, rail crossings, a new pier washroom and electric-vehicle infrastructure.