Funding from the federal tax gas money helped pay for this playground in Sidney’s Rathdown Park. (Courtesy Town of Sidney)

Funding from the federal tax gas money helped pay for this playground in Sidney’s Rathdown Park. (Courtesy Town of Sidney)

Sidney mayor praises federal gas tax support

Funding includes $140,000 toward new playground among other projects

A playground that cost $140,000 is among the projects Sidney founded with support of federal gas tax money.

The playground (that features a zip line among other elements) opened in Rathdown Park in October 2020 and marks the first major project recommended in the town’s parks master plan.

The municipality also used the funding to support upgrades to the Ocean Avenue curb and sidewalk ($38,000 to date), the Bevan Fishing Pier ($17,950); and solar lights at Maryland Park ($11,000).

Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith said the municipality is grateful for this ongoing funding stream from the federal government and administration of the program by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM). “This reliable funding source allows us to maintain and improve Sidney’s infrastructure without additional impact on taxpayers,” he said in a release.

Josie Osborne, provincial minister of municipal affairs, said the municipal playground equipment is a great example of a community-led initiative that promotes a healthy and active lifestyle for children and families and helps build a better B.C.

RELATED: Phase two of public hearing for Sidney parks Dec. 6

The municipality has received close to $6.6 million in funding, having used over $5.3 million on eligible projects benefiting the community. Major categories for eligible projects include local roads and active transportation, sport and recreation infrastructure; wastewater and storm water; and drinking water.

The federal gas tax fund has delivered over $3.1 billion to B.C. communities during 17 years of existence.

Coun. Brian Frenkel, president of the UBCM, said local governments in British Columbia appreciate the flexibility of the federal gas tax fund because it allows communities to direct the funds to a wide range of locally identified priorities without having to wait for funding approvals.


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