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HomeNewsNelson council applies for $3.4 million grant for Civic Centre upgrades

Nelson council applies for $3.4 million grant for Civic Centre upgrades

Nelson city council has approved a motion to apply for a grant through Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GIBC), with Infrastructure Canada, which would cover up to 80 per cent of the cost to upgrade the Civic Centre, leaving the city to cover the remaining 20 percent. 

According to a staff report, council initially applied for a grant of $4.2 million but had the application denied, leading council to find another avenue to fund the project to facilitate repairs and upgrades to the existing building.

Director of engineering Colin Innes says the GIBC grant aligns perfectly with the civic project and would allow all the pieces to come together. 

“The grant itself almost seems like it has been tailored for this project in that it is for green and inclusive,” he says. “I think we are a strong candidate for this, and we are looking to apply to be able to fund the project.”

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Innes says right now the Civic Centre is not being used to its full potential but having money to increase its accessibility would move the whole complex forward. 

“The building itself is only five per cent accessible, and having this funding would help to radically change that,” he says. “This would change how people engage with the centre.”

Councillor Rik Logtenberg expressed his support for the project, and funding, saying making the building more accessible and user friendly would benefit the whole community. 

“It is going to open up the space to a lot of people who don’t otherwise have access to it,” he says. “It will also provide an anchor for the downtown, connecting Baker Street, even more than it already is.

“It does a lot for the community. I am really excited for the project.”

Councillor Jesse Woodward says he is also highly supportive of this project because of the environmental impacts it will have on the city.

“If we do this right, if we get the grant and the funding, we are going to cut 30 per cent of our city-owned building greenhouse gas emissions on one project. That is amazing.”

According to the staff report, if the grant is successful the city would only have to cover $840,000. If the grant is unsuccessful the city would need to consider borrowing $4.2 million from the Municipal Finance Authority to cover the cost. 

Funding would cover the three major components of the project, including the low carbon heritage renewal; the theatre renovation/redesign; and the accessibility upgrade.

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