A federal-provincial grant that could cover most of the cost for the new Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre is infringing upon the deadline for the $6 million Gax Tax Fund grant. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

City of Victoria applies for federal funding for Crystal Pool with the risk of losing $6 million Gas Tax Funds

Delayed dates for federal funding infringes on the Gas Tax Fund deadline

The City of Victoria is finally able to apply for a federal grant that would cover nearly three quarters of the cost of the new Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre.

However, the expected timeline for awarding the Investing in Canada social infrastructure grant money by Infrastructure Canada continues to have municipal staff worried the City may lose its $6-million Gas Tax Fund provincial grant for the project.

City staff have been waiting months for applications to open up for the federal program, which could cover up to 72 per cent of the centre’s estimated $69.4-million cost. It was initially believed that the grants would be awarded by the end of 2018, but the City has learned that may not happen until late 2019.

READ MORE: Gas tax cash helps Victoria reach funding threshold for Crystal Pool

This oversteps the deadline for the Gas Tax Fund, which the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) awarded to the city in February, under the caveat that all other project funds must be secured by March 31, 2019.

“That’s a critical component of the funding,” said Thomas Soulliere, City director of parks, recreation and facilities. “If we get an indication that the [Infrastructure Canada] decision will be made later, we’ll have to engage with UBCM and the province. If everyone involved would be willing to have a conversation, we can talk about options associated with the funding.”

Soulliere is hopeful the UBCM would be willing to negotiate and extend their deadline.

READ MORE: Delayed grant decisions could send new Crystal Pool costs soaring

In the meantime, City planners and engineers continue to finalize the facility’s designs, addressing technical aspects and final architectural tweaks.

While Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria recently claimed costs for the project could rise up to $90 million, Soulliere was adamant that even with design and program adjustments, staff are conscious of staying within the City’s budget.

“What people experience is the highest priority [to our planning], and there’s many ways to accommodate that,” he said. “There are various designers looking at processes of how we can do that, and at opportunities to adjust to make sure we’re in line with budget expectations … There are meetings happening every week.”

In a previous interview with the News, however, Soulliere estimated that if delays to the project go past February 2019, escalated construction costs could see monthly increases of up to $500,000 per month.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Man accused of Brentwood Bay murder appears in court

Alan Chapman tells judge he wants next court appearance to be “as far away as possible”

Langford has ‘no plans’ to make changes to Western Speedway after noise complaints

Flyer passed out to residents voices concerns over racetrack noise

Victoria police hand out Civic Service Awards

June 24 awards include recognition for help on days-long fire, cannabis robbery, volunteer service

Sooke teen seriously injured after fall on field trip

Boy climbed tree when it broke, tumbling down an embankment

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. man faces deportation over father’s honour-killing conviction

Father lied to immigration, was later acquitted of charges in Jassi Sidhu’s murder

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Slain friend motivates rookie football player to make it with hometown B.C. Lions

Jaylen Sandhu, stabbed to death in 2014, a source of inspiration for promising RB Jamel Lyles

Sooke council urged to move faster on off-leash dog park plan

Resident questions why five of seven restricted parks are in Sooke

Most Read