Special meeting may see city net grant for airport expansion

Castlegar Source
By Castlegar Source
October 28th, 2016

At a special meeting Friday at 12 p.m., city council unanimously voted in favour of applying for a grant that would help fund an expansion of the West Kootenay Regional Airport.

The reason for the urgency and special meeting, according to city CAO John Malcolm, is that applications for the grant, offered by the BC Rural Dividend Program, are only being accepted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31, 2016.

“We’ve also been dealing with other ministries,” Malcolm said, explaining the expansion  is anticipated to cost $4.2 million, with $2.1 million coming from BC On The Move Airport Fund, $1 million from Columbia Basin Trust, $500,000 from BC Rural Dividend and $600,000 from city fund reserves.

“The proposed terminal expansion would double the secure passenger capacity and increase freight/baggage handling capacity,” he said, adding the city applied for a grant two years ago for this expansion, but the application was not successful.

If the city’s application through this new funding stream is successful, the city would still need funding approval from the province and CBT to move forward with the project.

“It’s building the future,” said city councillor Dan Rye. “Any grants we can get to get this done, with only $600,000 out of our own pockets, is a good deal.”

Councillor Susan Heaton-Sherstobitoff concurred.

“I think it’s a heck of an opportunity for us – I’m in favour.”

The city’s application will be submitted by the end of this month.