The City of Parksville will soon receive a $2.86 million COVID-19 recovery grant from the provincial government.
The province will provide the COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant for Local Governments to each municipality, based on population. The money came as a surprise to city staff and council decided to delay the budget amendment process.
“It would be kind of foolish of us to be going through the budget and talking about it if we’re going to get the grant money,” said Mayor Ed Mayne.
He added the city’s chief administrative officer (CAO) emailed the provincial government to clarify if items on the budget are eligible for the grant money.
The city’s water and sewer fund may be eligible because revenue from both decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There was a lot less water use during the summer, particularly because there were less tourists here than normal. It resulted in about a $409,000 decrease in our water revenues from what we anticipated,” said Lucky Butterworth, director of finance.
City staff believe water revenue will be back to normal next year, depending on the effect of the pandemic, according to Butterworth. He added the city’s water budget surplus is considered healthy even without the extra money.
Council will discuss the budget amendments in its Dec. 7 meeting.