Lumby pursues grants

Village wants a new category for communities under 5,000 people when seeking federal and provincial grants.

There’s a push to not have small communities over-shadowed by their larger counterparts.

Lumby council will ask the Southern Interior Local Government Association to consider a resolution that calls for a new category for communities under 5,000 people when seeking federal and provincial grants.

“We are currently being grouped in with places like Kelowna and Vernon,” said Mayor Kevin Acton of the current grant structure that classifies small communities as any area with less than 100,000 people.

“If Vernon wants to pave a road and the cost is $500,000, they have to come up with their half at $250,000. But if we do a road, the cost is the same but we don’t have the funds.”

Acton says major capital works are a challenge for municipalities under 5,000 because of limited residential tax bases.

Communities under 5,000 population make up more than half of the 162 municipalities in B.C.

Lumby council is calling for a new micro-community category when the federal and provincial governments are handing out infrastructure grants.

Council also wants the municipal portion of projects being funded by government grants to be reduced for micro-communities to reflect their small tax base.

“We’re not asking for more money in the pot,” said Acton.

“Instead of giving us $250,000 and we have to provide $250,000, we could come up with $80,000 or $100,000.”