District of Houston applies for grants

The District of Houston is continuing its policy of pursuing grants from outside agencies and senior governments to finance local projects.

First up is council’s approval, given Oct. 3, for economic development officer Maureen Czirfusz to apply for money from a business facade improvement program provided by the Northern Development Initiative Trust.

Up to $20,000 is available annually to local governments to improve the look of exteriors, signs, murals, architectural features, siding, lighting or awnings.

Local businesses then have the opportunity to have half of their exterior improvements covered to a maximum of $5,000.

Such work not only improves the look of the community it promotes private sector spending and results in increased assessed values and a resulting increase in the tax base, Czirfusz wrote in a memo to council.

Also given the go ahead to Czirfusz by council Oct. 3 was another application submission to the Northern Development Initiative Trust, this time for $8,000 to be used by the District to help finance its grant writing service.

“Each year $8,000 in rebate funding is provided to approved local governments to support the employment of a locally-based grant writer to prepare funding applications to agencies, foundations and government programs,” Czirfusz wrote in a memo to council.

The $8,000 is meant to cover up to 76 per cent of the wages for the first four months of employment for a grant writer.

There’s “additional capacity to respond to community priorities and non-profit requests for grant application research and writing,” indicates a memo to council.

Czirfusz was also given approval for a third grant application to the Northern Development Initiative Trust, this time for $50,000 under its economic development capacity building funding program.

“This funding is provided each year to build economic development capacity throughout central and northern British Columbia,” reads a memo to council on the program.

The money is meant to either pay for an economic development officer or use to pursue economic development activities.

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