Whistler bottoms out on provincial grants 

Whistler is at the bottom of the list of provincial transfers to municipal governments this year, but is moving up.

Whistler will receive the smallest unconditional grant of any municipality or regional district in the province in 2002: $34,781.

However, that’s more than Whistler received last year, when the NDP government provided $27,124. Whistler’s grant was the second lowest of all B.C. municipalities last year.

In 2000 Whistler was the only municipality to receive less than $10,000 in unconditional grants.

The $36 million in unconditional grants announced by the province this week includes $23.9 million in small community protection grants, for small- and medium-sized municipalities to fund basic services for residents; $10 million for municipalities providing police services, allocated on the basis of their policing costs; and $2.1 million for regional districts.

Last year municipal grants totalled $33.8 million. In 2000 municipal grants totalled $38.7 million.

Pemberton’s unconditional grant will be $116,740 this year, the same amount it has received in each of the last two years. Squamish will get $138,611 this year, about the same as it received last year but down from the $153,505 it received in 2000.

The SLRD’s grant will be $120,000 again this year, the same amount as several other regional districts will receive and the same as it has been for the last three years.

While Whistler will not receive much in the way of unconditional grants the province is still evaluating applications for federal-provincial infrastructure grants. Whistler has also been promised $15 million by the provincial government, to cover the second phase of renovations to the Whistler Conference Centre, if the World Economic Forum decides to hold its annual meeting in Whistler in 2004.

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