Last year the City of Merritt applied for $100,000 in rural dividend grant funding from the province. On March 31, 2020, the city was approved with the money destined for six projects including a community grant writer and the Merritt youth entrepreneurship program.
Due to COVID-19, the City with Council approval is applying to change the funding to address new needs within the community.
The funding is now earmarked for the grant writer, a tourism coordinator position, information signage, a business improvement association, and the downtown beautification project.
While the changes were approved by Council, Councillor Tony Luck was frustrated with a lack of options provided.
“I’m a little concerned,” began Luck. “Why do we never see a list of options for the rural dividend fund? Why does staff always bring us a set amount of grants that we can go for? Personally, I would like to see about a dozen choices for us to pick from as council and then reasons and options all behind those. Every time I come here, I see pretty much the same ones, I want to see some options.”
City staff responded by saying the recommendations come from previous council work such as strategic planning and other approved master plans.
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