Feds and province help fund Pemberton community centre 

A long-awaited community centre in Pemberton is now on the near horizon with a $1.1million injection from the provincial and federal governments.

Pemberton’s Mayor Elinor Warner was excited about what the news will mean for local residents.

"There’s such a need in our community for a community complex and I’m just so pleased," she said on Monday, just after the announcement.

The grant was part of the Canada-British Columbia Infrastructure Program, which will see the two governments give more than $29 million each to various community infrastructure projects throughout the province.

The Pemberton area was just one of 57 communities to get financial help in the most recent round of grants.

"We applied I believe three years ago, so it’s been a long wait," said Warner.

Last year the village received a $3.9 million grant for a new sewer treatment facility under this program. At that time Whistler also received $13 million for its Wastewater Treatment Plant.

"This funding supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to strengthening our social foundations by investing in community infrastructure," said David Anderson, federal minister of environment.

"The projects throughout British Columbia announced today (Monday) highlight our success in building sustainable communities while improving our environment."

To date 260 projects have been approved, with a total value of almost $763 million. More than $473 million of that total has come from the federal and provincial governments. The various communities top up the grants with an equal contribution so that each government funds roughly one-third of each project.

Among the recent projects to get money were "green" projects like water and wastewater treatments systems as well as community projects like a tourism centre in Williams Lake and a 40,000 square foot library in North Vancouver.

The new community centre in Pemberton will include a youth centre, an activity centre and meeting rooms.

Warner said they also hope to have a day care in the centre.

That’s just the first phase of the project. The next step will be to build an ice skating rink.

"The community will be excited," said Warner.

"Once you start something it’ll take legs and we’ll have the other things fairly fast."

The community centre is planned to go on the site opposite the elementary school in the village.

Warner said as soon as the logistics are figured out they can start building.

"We’re going to put together a community organization now that will need to talk about the needs in the community and exactly what this will look like," she said.

The village of Pemberton and Area C in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District will work together to build the project.

The entire project will cost $1.7 million.


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