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Last night a recommendation was on the table for Council to approve regarding possible grant funding to help offset a $1.9 million price tag on flood mitigation work along the Voght Street corner.

The grant could supply Merritt with $750,000 to be put towards the project if successful.

Director of Finance Sheila Thiessen discussed where the funding for the project would come from.

“We do have funding within our gas tax reserve and some other reserves that we could allocate towards the project,” said Thiessen.

“There are other grants that we are exploring as well,” added CAO Scott Hildebrand.

It was noted that the $1.9 million was estimated on the high side and there could be savings found along the way for the City.

Director of Corporate Services Sean Smith addressed additional work that could be added on top.

“If utilities were also replaced at the same time, which when you have to tear things up and raise the road, that’s usually the best time to do it, you're looking at a project that could be in excess of $3 million,” said Smith.

The City did confirm there is reserve funding in the utilities fund that could be used for the project.

“I’m absolutely positive that it’s in the best interest of Merritt and it will fit in with other plans that will make Merritt safer traffic-wise and flood wise. I’m very much in favour of this but I don’t want anybody in the community to think it was taken on lightly,” said Councillor Kurt Christopherson.

The motion to apply for the grant funding was passed by a unanimous vote.


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