When Mike Hicks steps down as director for the Juan De Fuca Electoral Area, he’ll be leaving about $1.5 million in federal funding in the coffers for his successor.
Hicks, who announced in July that he wouldn’t be running in the provincial election in October, has served as JdF director since first elected in 2008.
Part of his responsibilities includes allocating how funding through the Canada Community-Building Fund is spent.
The money, formerly known as the federal gas tax fund, is administered in the province by the Union of B.C. Municipalities following a tripartite agreement in 2014.
The funding, which totalled about $250,000 a year for the past few years, can only be spent on specific items outlined in the Canada Community-Building Fund agreement. The Juan de Fuca Electoral Area is limited to projects for water and recreation.
“I’m very pleased that about $1.5 million is left to work with for the next person who gets elected,” said Hicks, who also chairs the electoral areas committee. “I’m proud to say we’ve taken care of the water needs and improved recreation.”
Some projects funding went toward the new all-weather turf field at Fred Milne Park and the installation of a well at that location which Hicks expects will substantially reduce water bills.
Other initiatives include water improvement projects, pickleball courts, and other recreational projects throughout the electoral district.
“The best part of being a Juan de Fuca director is helping different organizations with funding for projects,” he said. “It’s so hard for those groups to raise money, and it’s very gratifying to be able to help them.”
The Canada Community Building Fund provides annual funding to the Capital Regional District total, which reviews applications from CRD services and third parties throughout the year.