Kelowna city council will soon deliberate the allocation of almost $8 million in provincial government funding meant to help address the financial challenges of COVID-19.
On Monday (Nov. 23), council will receive a staff report recommending where the $7.9-million COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant should be used. The grant is given to local governments to help deal with the increased operating costs and reduced revenues due to COVID-19, ensuring they can continue to provide necessary services.
Staff suggests $2.5 million be allocated to fund additional costs and revenue losses experienced throughout the year, including corporate preparedness planning and gaming revenues, as well as to support the Kelowna International Airport.
The remaining $5.4 million, staff recommend, should be applied to the 2021 preliminary budget, assisting with further expected costs and loss of revenue, to be deliberated by council on Dec. 10, 2020.
“It’s great news for Kelowna and will certainly help with some of the economic impact caused by the pandemic,” said city media relations manager Tom Wilson when the funding was first announced in early November.
To ensure transparency with the funds, the city is required to report annually on how they are used and how much has been used. This requirement is in place until the grant is fully disbursed.
The City of West Kelowna also received $4.4 million, though plans for those funds have not yet been announced.
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