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

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

Victoria Guard Commander leads group of snowmen after ceremony cancelled

Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin wasn’t going to let a bit of snow strip him of his duties

Number of adults living with parents has doubled since 1995

9 per cent of the adult population living with one or more parent

Spring cleaning starts Sunday in Oak Bay

Donations are open for the Monterey Recreation Centre’s annual annual rummage sale

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read