The Capital Regional District has a final $575,000 in federal-provincial Safe Restart Grant money to use for services affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money was allocated by the province in March and followed a $1.421 million payment to the CRD last November.
The CRD board will split the funding by service area with $165,000 allocated to the regional district and, $85,000 for First Nations, $80,000 for Juan de Fuca, $172,000 for Salt Spring Island and $73,000 for the Southern Gulf Islands.
The board allocated the regional district portion to the regional corporate emergency service budget.
Juan de Fuca area director Mike Hicks had floated an amendment calling for that $165,000 to be allocated for CRD Parks to cover expected higher bylaw enforcement costs this summer.
“They need help and they could use those funds,” he said, noting that gathering restrictions have prompted many more people to use regional parks and trails. “I don’t want to see it sitting in some bank account waiting for someone to use it.”
Told by staff the grant criteria only allows its use for “incremental bylaw enforcement,” Hicks withdrew his amended motion upon hearing the parks department could claim for added expenses from the emergency management budget.
CRD staff will consult with local area directors to determine which services are most in need of funding help.
The payment to the CRD is part of a final $10 million allocated from the $425 million set aside for local governments under the Safe Restart Grants program.