At the District of Houston council meeting on Dec. 21, 2017 council members discussed which projects to apply for the Rural Dividend Grant, and resolved to apply the downtown revitalization plan for the $10,000 grant, and the development of Bymac park for the $100,000 grant.
The Rural Dividend Grant is administered by the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
The grant is a part of a program that aims to,”contribute to the strength and sustainability of small rural communities, making them attractive to live and work.”
There are four categories of funding available including the community capacity building, which are for projects that help build resources, capabilities and capacities to deal with economic challenges and changes. As well as improve community services or expand market accessibility.
The workforce development category is for projects that offer training and skills development that focus on attracting and retaining workers.
The community and economic development category is for projects that support economic growth and help build a foundation to improve community vibrancy.
The final category, business sector development is for projects that increase new business creation, growth and adaptability in the community, as well as retaining existing businesses and encouraging expansion.
Houston council decided that it would be best to apply for projects that have already started.
The $10,000 grant for project development is designed to support communities with limited capacity to undertake preliminary work. Houston council resolved that the downtown revitalization plan, which has a project budget of $25,000 for downtown beautification, should be selected for the project development grant, since it is a project that has already begun.
The development of Bymac Park has a budget $34,008 committed to the project and was selected for the single applicant grant of a maximum of $100,000, which supports the implementation of community-driven projects, and requires a contribution of 20 per cent from the applicant, via financial or in in-kind donations. A maximum of 10 per cent of in kind donations can be used to cover 20 per cent of the contribution.
The application for both projects will be submitted to the Rural Dividend Grant program before Dec. 15, 2017.